Five mind-boggling misfits provided zany entertainment in The Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie as Les Enfants Terribles immersed us in the weird and wonderful world of a crazy circus at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre.
The eccentric Dr Longitude, captured perfectly by Maxwell Tyler, has travelled the globe in search of odd creatures to fill his travelling menagerie. They include ten-tentacled octopodoi and a mythical three legged beast. Longitude and his helpers – delightfully portrayed by Alice Bounce, Lydia Hourihan, Daniel King and Owen Jenkins - deliver silly remarks, weird tales, slapstick, songs, dances and puppetry.
They persuaded me to join them on stage to play Dr Longitude’s father in a ridiculously funny sketch starting with his conception!
Strong direction by Emma Earle, Oliver Lansley and James Seager ensured fast pace throughout. Yet this open air Edinburgh Festival success lost some of its spontaneity in the theatre, with the wordy script by Lansley and Anthony Spargo not always making the most of potentially hilarious situations. Some of the diction could have been clearer, but the cast showed great enthusiasm and imagination.
It was a pity that the Hippodrome was not blessed with a bigger attendance. BY Tony Flood.