Groupe Gravel/Lepage with Aurora Nova
Self-indulgence has long been a mainstay of the Fringe show, and here it is, alive and well kicking, reducing small audiences into a catatonic purgatory.
Take a microphone and four flexible performers – two blokes with beards and two girls in vests. Add a soundtrack that slides from Ella to head-banging Hendrix. Light a long fuse and retire.
How to describe what happened? The nearest I can get to a useful description is, stand-up without the laughs. Each of the four took turns at the microphone, interspersed with nicely-choreographed and sometimes sexy moves.
There was an interesting contemplation of the current body politic and why killing Donald Trump is not the answer. There was a clever monologue exploring the logical conclusion of having a “laissez-faire” attitude to everyone else’s lifestyle and political choices – which is perhaps where we are headed, as we disengage from any sort of meaningful public debate.
The speech throughout was treated as though it were movement, repeated, riffed and repeated again – which is probably satisfying to perform but becomes increasingly more irritating than hypnotic, no matter how charming the French-Canadian accents were.
Actually, bits of it were quite funny in an “up-its-own-arse” kind of way. The beginning was beguiling, as one of the blokes with beards congratulated us on having the time to waste to come to the show, and the will to throw our money “out the window” of beauty. Nice turns of phrase and quirky observations studded the show like occasional raisins in a great big serving of tasteless boiled pudding. I could have forgiven them if they had spiralled back to where they started in a neat 60 minutes, but it went on for another 30 and that had me wishing fervently that they would go back to their bedrooms and put it all up on YouTube.