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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

Wild at Heart

Róisín and Chiara

Genre: Clown, Comedy, Physical Theatre

Venue: Thistle St James


Low Down

“Unpredictable  comedy theatre from debut duo Róisín and Chiara. Get personal with their creations in a highly improvisational 45 minutes of ‘comedic genius’ and unexpected tenderness. Meet roller-blading couriers, ex-pat rockers, T4 presenters and lifestyle gurus as they collide and connect in a tapestry of physical storytelling and character creation.”


Comedy performers, Roisin O’Mahony and Chiara Goldsmith bring Wild at Heart to the Fringe and, not only tear down the Fourth Wall in the process, but also hurl it to the bottom of Leith Walk. This is an absurd, often surreal two-hander, blending set piece character comedy with plenty of improvised action and audience interaction.

It all looks made up- but there’s careful intention behind this show that combined physical and vocal clowning with unhinged comedy.

Well, I say unhinged. It all begins hinged. And that’s part of the secret of this successful show in the Freestival. Each set piece begins, seemingly innocently, anchored in a normal situation, statement or question, and then it begins to stretch like rubber; then that rubber turns into quark, strangeness and charm.

Both performers work well together and their rapport often turns them into a four legged beast called ‘performance’. Parts of the show border on performance art and, in those moments, it is less accessible but still interesting.. We are then more bemused than amused, but that is okay, because what they are doing is planting seeds for the next madcap happening. It is a show of happenings but it has a consistent feel and we always feel we are in the safe hands of these capable physical and vocal performers.

There is a lot of audience interaction and they rely on it a bit too much. Occasionally, as one of the two went into the audience yet again, her eyes popping and mouth open in mock-shock, it felt as if it was looping back on itself a bit too much – there was an air of repetition there that needs a bit of refining. Less might be more. Or, if there is to be more interaction, it needs better purpose, even if that purpose is gloriously improvised.

Charismatic, madcap, often hilarious, deliciously uncomfortable, this is a very impressive show. It draws upon raw energy and that energy is channelled through the skills of the two performers. Comedy moments are many, occasionally a bit derivative, but never less than a spectacle loaded with life and experimentation. Wild at Heart is, indeed, wild, but it is also full of heart. Emotions form a big part of the show, and we range through them all. The tears of the clown, the delight of discovery, and plenty of poking at the foibles of being human. Lyn Gardner recently wrote in the Guardian about the dangers of audience interaction becoming unacceptably intrusive (she called it bullying in reference to one fringe clown show). Wild at Heart needs to be careful that it doesn’t create the wrong kind of discomfort for audience members. So far, they are just on the right side of the line. If we are going to have our heads rubbed, we might need a bit of warning that there is such a lot of interaction in the publicity blurb.

That aside, this is a delightful show. It’s raw, fresh, skilled, inventive and I am more than happy to highly recommend these two performers, who have a big future ahead of them.