Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Be-Dom are percussionists extraordinaire, playing anything and everything, including bits of their own and other people’s bodies. Anything but drums. Weaving patterns of rhythms, interspersed with physical theatre, slapstick and farce and all done with a huge sense of fun, Be-Dom had the audience on their feet and shouting for more.
This is street performance at its best. Hugely infectious fun and playful, Be-Dom explode with rhythms created from any available surface…tables, old plastic drums, bits of the body, bits of other peoples’ bodies, a bowl, the floor, the fingers…you name it, they drum it.
Add in large dollops of slapstick, audience participation and you get one of the most fun hour’s on the Fringe this year. Adults and children alike stood on their feet at the end and demanded more. Vaudeville drawn from the traditions of continental Europe is mixed with contemporary beats taken from the street and driven along to create a great party atmosphere. With the clowning, the hand-clapping and the foot-stomping, this is funky butt live at its best. Using old plastic containers, this is recycling to put a grin on your face, and make you feel good about the world.
At one level, its a group of guys horsing around and enjoying themselves. Beating out rhythms on whatever is to hand the troupe of six offer the sort of music usually to be found at the fiesta and festival. Its engaging, and they cleverly involve the audience whenever they can, something which was much appreciated on the day I saw the show. People had no hesitation in engaging with sometimes complex rhythms, drumming out for themselves a piece of theatre with "feel good" etched all over it.
Bringing street theatre indoors does pose problems which Be-Dom have yet to fully work through. Individual pieces end, and leave awkward pauses as costumes and props are changed.So the show constantly rises and falls, with only the incessant disco music from outside the tent to fill the vacuums. Not a good idea. If they could find a way to keep the rhythms going through the show, it would keep the audience engaged and attentive throughout. And it would feel like a whole piece rather than a number of set pieces on a playlist.
But its great fun and fills your heart with gladness. Be-Dom lit up a grey Edinburgh day, and when the show was over, and the audience had stopped applauding wildly, we emerged into a bright sunny Sunday.
You cannot ask for more than that.