Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Comedians Tim FitzHigham and Tiernan Douieb embark on a slightly confused expedition – thank goodness the children are there to sort them out!
The title of the show is “The Great Arctic Caper” … the picture advertising the show has penguins in it (penguins are only found in the Southern Hemisphere), so already, we are well on the way to understanding that these two intrepid travellers are going to have some trouble … and so it was that we entered the igloo in the Pleasance Courtyard to take part in their journey to the Arctic on, ironically, one of the warmest days at the Festival so far.
As members of ‘The Adventurers Club’ the audience are reminded of the rules of adventuring – all of which are suggestions from the children themselves, and after much confusion about the actual destination (was it Arctic or Antigua?), we head off to the Arctic with the aid of a children-built plane, some fans, a bag of lollies, and some clever (audience provided) sound effects. We are also encouraged to cheer loudly whenever we witness a rule being broken … this causes some fun for the performers throughout the piece, as one of our rules today is “Always stay close together”.
FitzHigham and Douieb have developed a loose story line and use their comedy and improv skills to interact expertly with the children and their adults in the audience. Throughout the mission we learn about Sir John Franklin, meet a Polar Bear, witness the Northern Lights, experience a snow storm and learn how to walk in a ‘heroical’ fashion (something that resembles a Monty Python silly walk!)
At points throughout the performance, the children unfortunately proved to be too involved for the planned storyline … a necessary map that had been left in ‘Scotland’ before our plane ride to the ‘Arctic’ was persistently pointed out by a child refusing to suspend disbelief … the snow storm ended in children being distracted into picking up the individual pieces of snow (small polystyrene balls), instead of moving on in the storyline as would have been preferred. The pair eventually brought their attention back.
Advertised as a 45 minute performance, the show my children and I watched lasted only 35 minutes, however, we did feel satisfied, and the others in the audience appeared happy also.
In the concluding moments of the show, FitzHigham asks the children where the Adventurers Club should go next year … “Antigua” yells out one of the children, almost as though it had been planned, perfectly tagging the earlier Arctic vs Antigua debate in the story … a priceless moment!
This is a fun show that children and their adults will enjoy, performed by two skilled comedians.
Three stars: Recommended.