Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Like the bastard lovechild of two of her compatriots, the aggressively surrealist Sam Simmons and the drag-incorporating Zoe Coombs Marr, Australian Demi Lardner’s radical new departure is Gavin, a middle-aged man bizarrely trapped inside his basement.
Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)
With its hallucinatory framing, you’re never quite sure how much of Look What You Made Me Do is occurring inside this blokeish manchild’s mind.
But that’s besides the point, as a succession of ridiculous set-pieces, self-consciously groan-worthy puns, daft songs and rudimentary prop gags propel this consistently surprising and energetically febrile production. Gavin’s only link to the outside world is a phone survey he takes from a life insurance telemarketer, keeping him going but sparking additional outbursts of the cartoonishly weird.
As portrayed by the fresh-faced Lardner, Gavin is incongruously gruff and cocksure, then rattled and babyish, his addled brain further incited by interjections from fellow comic Michelle Brasier, sporadically appearing in nightmarish costumes.
Supported by some engaging running jokes and mild audience interaction, this loose, disordered chaos actually strings together pretty well until the final third. With Lardner unable to ratchet the nonsense up or ease it down satisfyingly, the show just rather perfunctorily stops.
Until 27 August. Today 9:20pm.