Ed Fringe 2019: Fishbowl at Pleasance Courtyard
Fishbowl, a near-perfect no-talking comedy farce, is one of the most unforgettable shows you’ll see at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019. Chock-full of physical slapstick and absurdity, it’s reminiscent of Jacques Tati’s film Mon Oncle, and it’s equally as charming.
Laura Léonard’s set is the star of the piece: a toy box of magic tricks and constant surprises. It comprises three neighbouring bedsits, opened up like a doll’s house, which barely contain the higgledy-piggledy lives of their residents. Here those residents sing karaoke, fatten up a rabbit, dance in unison, teach themselves massage, love, despair and try to keep loneliness at bay. One fellow presides over a super-minimalist “smart house” (another nod to Mon Oncle?) which includes a toilet that appears and hides away at the sound of a clap… whether an intentional clap or otherwise. So ensues a running, escalating gag which sums up this bizarre show perfectly.
The sound design (by Roland Auffret and Loïc Le Cadre) packs a powerful punch, managing to build huge crescendos through one of those euphoric karaoke sessions, or by way of the roar of the wind as it invades through windows and skylights.
Of the rotating cast of seven, this particular performance stars Pierre Guillois, Agathe L’Huillier and Olivier Martin-Salvan, who are also the co-writers. Through exquisitely funny clowning and mime, they bring the hapless neighbours to life. Amid the laughter there’s much that is moving; Fishbowl proves its ability to juggle darkness and squalor with hope and warmth.
The cherry on the cake is an ending that may well make you cry with laughter. Don’t miss this delightful, compelling and innovative spectacle.
Photo: Fabienne Rappeneau
Fishbowl is at Pleasance Courtyard from 9th until 26th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Read more reviews from our Ed Fringe 2019 coverage here.
For further information about Edinburgh Fringe 2019 visit the festival website here.