Edinburgh Fringe 2018
A stunning hour of clowning as Harry guides immortal Heather through the madness of our mortal world. A superbly performed and tremendously enjoyable multifaceted romp.
Stumble Trip Theatre consists of all-singing, all-dancing, Lecoq-trained clowns, Grace Church and Chloe Young. This cracking pair of performers take the stage in white leotards and combine to create multiple characters with the simplest of props and costume but deliver in lashings of style. They are supported by the puckish presence of Laila Woozer who provides musical accompaniment and sound effects, usually in the right place… she is an independent spirit, quite capable of adding to the chaotic humour. All three give their everything in an incredible, uplifting, committed and entertaining romp performed with ludicrous levels of energy – goodness knows how they will keep this up all month!
The story begins as we meet Heather, who lives in heaven with her husband, Zeus. But she is fascinated by the earthlings below. A nod and a wink to gender politics sees her drawing up a sash window effortlessly with one finger, whilst the all powerful Zeus puts his immortal mighty back into it and fails. Heather displeases her overbearing husband with her fascination with mortals and is ultimately banished to earth below. But life below is not what she imagined or hoped for; London is mad, bad and dangerous. But she is not alone for long. Dear old Harry appears, brown beard slapped on in a hasty change as Grace flips backwards and forwards from being white bearded Zeus to brown bearded Harry – whose beard, at times, seemed to have a mind of its own. Harry reveals the real beauty beneath the grime, pointing out that “we may be small, but such a part of something”, finding joy in feeding pigeons or a father and a daughter walking hand in hand. Raucous comedy for a moment becomes heart-felt poignancy.
Combining mime, cabaret, theatre, musical theatre and even a bit of rap, Heather and Harry masks a deeper and wonderfully optimistic, innocent message, summarised in a notelet given to each member of the audience imploring them to give someone they love a hug. Unashamedly cheesy, perhaps, but undeniably heart-warming and admirably well intended. The audience were held throughout, wrapped in the story and in admiration for the level of skill and energetic playfulness on stage. And at the end, we erupted into a rare sight… a completely spontaneous, totally genuine, 100% standing ovation. Thoroughly deserved.
So, Heather and Harry is a fun filled journey of craziness from start to finish. The dynamic duo and their quirky musical sidekick give us an hilarious take on the techno ruled world of us mortals and celebrate the power of love. Cheeky, positive, uplifting and in a sometimes unbearably sour and cynical world, this show is a welcome breath off fresh air. Expect sequins, cheap fake beards, things that go wrong – some of which are deliberately planned and some gloriously spontaneous… but also expect a whole load of laughs and even a tear in the eye. This may not be for everyone, there may be those who suck on lemons, or tired and jaded cynics who will want to find fault or turn their noses up at such innocent fun, but not me or our friends who came with us. We loved it, as did everyone else there. A simply outstanding show in the delivery of multiple skills, classic story telling and madcap humour.