Edinburgh Fringe 2015
“Flossy and Boo have run away from the circus to set up their very own travelling Curiosity Shop, traversing the globe and collecting stories, songs and trinkets for their little cart. See their amazing (and rather unbelievable) tales! Hear the extraordinarily well-crafted and never-at-all-silly songs! Behold the extraordinary characters they have met along the way! With live original music, physical theatre and comedy, Flossy and Boo’s Curiosity Shop is an interactive theatre show. There is something for everyone in Flossy and Boo’s rather peculiar world! Roll up, roll up! Step inside!”
Flossy and Boo are Anja Conti and Laura Jeffs, but that immediately feels like a spoiler for this show as they are both so … Flossy and Boo. This is an hour of family-friendly comedy and storytelling with music thrown in too. It is all very fast-moving, with a zany, quirky and inventive feel.
Billed as a family friendly show, some of the material will zing over the heads of younger ones but that won’t matter as the spectacle and humour will keep them engaged and interested while the adults and older kids are giggling. That’s part of the skill and charm of the show; it addresses itself smartly to different ages and it all averages out in a good way over the hour.
This is a colourful, though not too garish production. The Curiosity Shop is a visually arresting, colourful, thing-packed market stall on wheels. Costumes are clownish and the two performers are astute improvisers with an eye and ear for comedy. There’s a decent but never over-bearing dose of improvisation and no one who gets up on the stage is humiliated. There’s a spirit of fun and collaboration throughout. We, the audience, are needed for Flossy and Boo’s stories and listen and engage we do.
Occasionally some of the materiel lacks clarity and could do with better pacing. The confusion is part of the charm, but sometimes it reduces the accessibility of the material. Slow down a bit more here and there. and define some of the routines just a little more sharply. When it feels too hurried, the show becomes a bit cluttered with its own material and good intentions. The duo are often hilarious, charming, witty and physically funny. They win over the audience and the response at the end proved it – huge cheers.
Several stories are shared and we get to decide on the proceedings by pulling our choices for what happens next out of a hat. Clearly Flossy and Boo love doing it all. That passion and commitment, which never falters, is infectious. The performers have created an endearing and effective chemistry and dressed it up with pleasing and inventive material, costumes, props and songs. There are plenty of gags, a lot of unpredictability, a well designed intention for the show underneath it all. These are very conscious and capable performers. Family storytelling, cabaret and comedy for the family I am happy to recommend.