The Dip @ theSpace, Surgeons' Hall

A hallucinatory fever dream of gay panic, featuring the Baba Ghanoush Gestapo and a very angry fish sheriff – it's wonderful chaos

Review by Jamie Dunn | 17 Aug 2018

Milk and Blood Theatre take goofiness to a new level with their riotous late night farce The Dip. It all starts serenely enough – romantic even. The lights are dimmed, the music plays (courtesy of the onstage three-piece band) and two friends, Al (Will Harrison) and Nic (Max Young), are lounging around on bean bags after a night of consuming too many German lagers and other mind-altering substances. And they’re talking absolute shite. More specifically, they’re talking about everyone’s favourite aubergine and tahini-based dip. Their saucy banter about this Lebanese delicacy stirs something inside Al and he almost… almost… almost kisses his pal, and this moment of erotic charge seems to send him into a hallucinatory tailspin.

What appears to follow is Al’s fever dream of gay panic. Moving at breakneck speed and blithely making no sense whatsoever, our confused hero finds himself under cross-examination from an officious receptionist called Nicola, who’s giving him some form of heterosexuality test. Nicola, it should be noted, bears a striking resemblance to Al’s buddy Nic (she also happens to be played by Young), and soon the pair are making the beast with two backs on a wonky coffee table. More queer encounters follow, a run-in with the Baba Ghanoush Gestapo, some extremely homoerotic callisthenics and a visit from a homophobic halibut sheriff with anger issues.

The six-strong ensemble cast is what sells these utterly daft antics. They charge through scenes with a nutty intensity: rummy accents fly left and right, as do the actors themselves and their costumes. They’re forever breaking into dance and spilling off into the aisles. At one point the whole room joins the stage to take part in a shotgun wedding. It’s wonderful, batshit chaos. In other words, The Dip is exactly what most people are looking for near midnight during the Fringe.

The Dip, theSpace, Surgeons' Hall (Theatre 1), 2-25 Aug (not 19), 11:30pm, £9-7

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