Le Flop @ Underbelly Cowgate
The Edinburgh Fringe wouldn’t be the Edinburgh Fringe without productions like Le Flop: an eponymous feat containing intense flatulence, a dance sequence fit for children’s TV in Sweden, and an aggressively sexual princess, all rolled into one fairy-tale shit sandwich.
Le Flop is fantastically bad, but from an intensely uncomfortable beginning where one performer cannot stop apologising for the evening ruining programme he has in store for you, it grows on you until the point where you find yourself singing ‘hobo, donkey, Lola, Bob, Lola Bob’ along with an Oxford graduate king and a white woolly creature with hooves for hands. The show is full of asides and interludes, which raise the simple story to the level of transcendent nonsense. They vary from complete non-sequiturs by a balaclavad bird aficionado to a lengthy explanation of why one of the performer's doctor thinks he’s a hypochondriac to characters’ refusals to go along with the narrator.
It is the narrator who, while seeming hatefully hipsterish, draws you into the fold of Le Flop and has you in stitches. His description of a belly button as a reminder to phone mum transforms a mildly distasteful body part into a deeply melancholic symbol of love. Even his ukelele won’t put you off the moral hangover of the story, which suggests that if your guy doesn’t do it for you, you'd better shack up with a shewolf in a poncho.
The show is not guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser, but even that has its positive ramifications since a small crowd ensures the level of awkwardness that the performers seem to require flourishes. It also increases the likelihood of every individual spectator being the chosen audience member to have the sole of their shoe kissed.
Le Flop, Underbelly Cowgate, Until 24 Aug, 10.50pm, £10.50 (£9.50)http://www.lefloptheatre.com/