Comedy review: Boris and Sergey’s One Man Extravaganza

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: A huge thank you has to go to Japan, who created Bunraku puppet theatre.

Assembly George Square Theatre (Venue 8)

****

Flabbergast Theatre have taken the genre and, as Louis Walsh would say, made it their own.

The show is impressive on many levels. Even before we get to the humour, the plot twists, the unexpected ‘racist interlude’, the special effects, the tense fight scenes with little swords and tiny fists flying, to say nothing of the final, wither-wringing tragedy, you have to marvel at the incredible technical choreography that allows a team of six to manipulate two tiny leather puppets, at breakneck speed through this gripping drama of brothers torn apart by theatrical ambition.

Boris’s journey takes him from the Balkans to fame, fortune and Broadway, while Sergey’s artistic angst leads him via Fringe theatre to destitution and living rough.

Harsh as this might sound, it is absolutely hilarious. As he sits begging in the winter cold, look out for my favourite joke of my Fringe so far.

Sergey’s one-man show is a glorious paradigm of artistic over-indulgence. And Boris’s death scene is, while not quite worth the five stars he suggests, a towering moment in tiny theatre.

But it is not all acting and fighting. The breadth of this pair’s talents as light entertainers is displayed in an exciting episode of the boys’ new gameshow, called What’s In The Box? The outcome, however, I think might be fixed.

From the moment the brothers hit the stage until the unexpected truth is revealed you are captivated by these little leather men.

The costume department has done the stars proud, and the sound and lighting makes for a 360-degree atmospheric experience.

Boris and Sergey are both the funniest and oddest thing to come out of Russia since that first photograph of Vladimir Putin with his top off.

Until 28 August. Today 9:25pm.