Edinburgh Festival: Captain Morgan and the Sands of Time (3 stars)

The Fiddler’s Elbow certainly knows how to pack in twice as many people as it should be possible to fit into a room.

If there are fire rules, tonight the home of free shows well worth taking a chance on is choosing to ignore them – much to the delight of the raucous pub crowd who are enthralled by this mad but skilfully performed comedy caper. That is, apart from a few irritating girls who spend the hour talking and texting. Their loss.

Two talented performers, Joe Newton and Edward Richards, accompanied by upbeat violinist David Ridley, rattle through an adventure at sea of mythological proportions, creatively playing 44 characters, the elements and the set, often all at once.

With no props and some great uses of mime they morph between an unlikely bunch of pirates, their plummy-voiced nemesis and some terrific monsters.

It’s an unsubtle piece, certainly, belted out at speed but one that also has a lot of love behind it. Writer and director Ben Behrens’s story can feel a little thrown together but it sets up some clever and amusing pay-offs.

With the tone of classic sketch comedy such as Monty Python, it’s a silly but self-knowing and raucous romp.

Written for The Scotsman

 

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