Edinburgh Fringe 2019
“The hilarious misadventures of three eccentric and lovable anti-heroes crammed in their wacky rooftop bedsits. The funniest show in Europe comes to Edinburgh after a sell-out tour. Molière Award for Best Comedy Play. Physical comedy extravaganza! Paper-thin walls barely separate three neighbours who strike up unlikely and moving friendships.”
Three contrasting flats and their inhabitant’s lives unfold in the cramped top floor of a building. The prominent set is colourful and immediately draws interest. In the centre is a cluttered kitchen with stuff everywhere. There are cardboard boxes outside in the landing outside the front door, making it difficult to move. To the left is a clinical white flat with minimal everything, except for bathroom facilities.
One of the tenants arrives with a bag of groceries from a supermarket. He lives in the kitchen flat and knows exactly how to manoeuvre through the small space. A neighbour arrives and enters the streamlined white flat and what follows is nothing short of a series of funny mishaps and situations with expert timing and reactions from both actors. There is a fascinating running gag with a flimsy cupboard and biscuits between these two characters.
After a while, the third tenant arrives, she lives in the bright pink stylish flat on the right and her lifestyle is very different. She adds a new element to this microcosm of urban life. The woman has an interesting occupation and is as quirky as the other two characters, in her own stylish way.
All characters are silent and are very effective physical actors. They communicate with body language, mime and use of clever props, which yields unusual choices and situations. Music and sound effects underscore some of the piece and sets the tone and atmosphere effectively. Zippy music plays in between scenes!
The physical storytelling revolves around a series of scenes separated by a very brief blackout. The timeline shifts and we see the development of friendships, familiarity, the highs and the lows of three different personalities as time passes.
Things happen to them innocently – someone looks out of a window, opens a cupboard door, has their hair done – and they get in a pickle. The situation comedy is vibrant and creative replete with sight gags and inventive props.
One very successful longer section set to underscored music shows daily life on this top floor, as the three go about their regular business, come and go, interact, meet up at the top of the stairs, chat outside each other’s flat, then their lives intertwine, which adds depth to the storytelling. At seventy-five minutes the show is substantial yet the play sustains itself due to the myriad bits and short scenes that work very well.
What makes this show so effective is that the contrast between each character is well defined, the crafting of the scenes and props is meticulously times and the visual storytelling is clear and always interesting and the outstanding set is a star! Once or twice the visual humour pushes the limits, but it is all in good fun!
The show is witty, wry, slapstick, funny, well performed by three physical actors and very entertaining!