Edinburgh Fringe 2009
The Most Important Show of the Day
Interactive Theatre Australia
Venue: B’est Restaurant
Festival: Edinburgh Fringe
This amusing breakfast show nourishes you physically and emotionally as you laugh while you tuck into a healthy breakfast. Your host, a tiny Mr. Motivator-style fitness guru, has you and your new friends up and stretching between courses as he shows you how to make a delicious smoothie and work those all-important muscle groups…with a little help from his assistants, of course. Warning: this show is interactive!
Breakfast with Richard Simms does pretty much what it says on the tin. But who is Richard Simms, I hear you ask? A diminutive dynamo dressed in fluorescent pink shorts with contrasting luminous yellow sweatbands, he is ‘America’s favourite fitness personality, more popular than Jane Fonda and better dressed than Mr. Motivator’. So it shouldn’t really have come as a surprise when ‘Simms’ had the whole room up and doing some morning stretches before they could tuck into their fruit salad.
It’s not groundbreaking theatre, nor the most sharply written script, but it is a lot of heart-warming good fun – just what was called for on a particularly wet morning. The restaurant setting had everyone experiencing an unexpected sense of community as they sat at tables with complete strangers – and all sense of awkwardness was well and truly gone by the time we had linked hands for the communal pelvic floor exercises. Props were fairly basic – consisting more or less of a pair of slightly obscene pink fitness balls – but this just allowed the tour de force that was Simms to shine as he took the room hostage.
The whole affair was overwhelmingly reminiscent of the great British holiday resort traditions – plenty of seaside humour and that chirpy, we’re all in this together camaraderie. Fortunately, the food was far better than anything you ever got in Butlins. A delicious vegetarian grill followed fruit salad with yogurt and (extremely good) muesli. Maybe not the bacon and eggs that the chap next to me had been hoping for, but probably better fuel for a long day at the Festival.
Like the food, the show wasn’t the most substantial, but as ways to start the day go, you couldn’t ask for much better than Breakfast With Richard Simms.