Pleasance Courtyard – Beside
There are many forms of entertainment to see at the Edinburgh Fringe, from circus to Shakespeare, from performance art to poetry: but if you are craving bum-faced snails and fart jokes, Olaf Falafel serves these up in abundance.
This show for children is exactly what it claims to be: a Super Stupid Show (20% More Stupider), and it truly stretches the boundaries of both ridiculousness and cheek. It’s high octane energy from even before it officially begins and keeps the feverish pace up throughout.
Olaf is a master of the dreadful joke, and delights in sharing his stupidity publicly through a series of games and bonkers videos. From the Cheese of Truth (which IMHO could be an award-winning TV show), with its provocative claims about cats being better than dogs, to the challenging “Sausage in my Bumbag” meat tossing game, there is clearly an end to this man’s talent. But we love him!
He interacts brilliantly with the audience, dealing out both insults and blessings in a considered, fair manner, and has everyone overexcited and in absolute stitches. The kids scream to join in, there’s stuff for the adults, and we all get to singalong to a slightly risqué refrain that is unfortunately an earworm that I keep humming throughout the rest of my day of watching Proper Drama at the Fringe. No-one is safe, and adults and children alike are pulled up on stage to participate in demented diversions, one of which includes fishing rods and a hat covered in rubber ducks.
Remarkably, there’s actually something of practical value in the show, when the audience are invited to learn to draw a cartoon. Admittedly, it’s a cartoon of a snail with a bum for a face, but nevertheless it’s a skill to be acquired and elevates the production somewhat. You might even learn a little Spanish from one of his naughtiest jokes…
I have to say, I can only tolerate a small number of fart jokes in children’s theatre. They can all too easily be the laziest way to get laughs. Here, Olaf gives us the easy stuff, then polishes the act up by adding in the drawing session and the clever videos. There’s also a slightly provocative edginess to some of his activities, such as planting snail statuettes in some of the world’s greatest art galleries. How did he not get caught?? This show is disruptive, daft and downright brilliant. Take your kids. Twice.
Produced by: Impatient Productions
Olaf Falafel’s Super Stupid Show (20% More Stupider) is aimed at ages 3-13 and runs at Pleasance Courtyard Beside until 27 August. Further information and bookings can be found here.