Festival review: The Submarine Show; C Too (venue 4)

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Rarely on the Fringe is an all-action spectacular executed so well with so few resources.

To call the Californian Kinetic Dance Theatre’s two-man production a mime show is to fail to do it true justice, with Jaron Hollander and Slater Penney’s performances melding hilarity, excitement and a sense of furious, madcap wonder into a highly satisfying whole.

Our wayward adventurers begin on their imaginary submarine, puttering about pressed together in tandem, stopping occasionally to look around (the periscope is created by one pressing his eye to the other’s backside and swivelling him around). After that there’s precious little narrative, with our rubber-faced heroes instead tumbling from one hyperactive mishap to the next, combining the power of gymnasts with the delicacy of dancers.

They try to repair a flood of gushing bulkhead leaks with spanners, and one of their diving suits keeps inflating when the other pats him on the chest.

Their sub crashes and comes to rest with one balanced precariously on the other’s shoulders, so they scuba dive their way to a deserted tropical island and go exploring. There’s something endearingly old-fashioned about the duo’s performances and this is a sharp and laugh-out-loud funny piece of first-rate physical storytelling; a tale which isn’t laden with meaning but which presents slapstick fun and spectacular set-pieces in abundance.

The performers use the entire theatre space, and even its exterior, to striking and inventive effect. One of the most amusing interactions involving one of them – in the character of an aggressive avian dinosaur – wrestling an empty crisp bag from an audience member like a fearless seagull on a park bench. For all ages, The Submarine Show is a work of outstanding light entertainment.

Rating: ****

Until 27 August. Today 4:55pm.

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