Theatre review: Eat $h*t: How Our Waste Can Save The World, C Nova (Venue 154), Edinburgh

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THIS may be the most important show on the Fringe this year. Not the best written or the best performed, perhaps, but something a future historian might look back on and say: “Wow, those guys were really ahead of their time.”

Eat $h*t: How Our Waste Can Save The World

C Nova (Venue 145)

Star rating: * * *

Shawn Shafner plays Karl Greenfield, an ad executive for a company called Ice to Eskimos who is just putting the finishing touches to his latest vacuous concept – a box within a bag within a box – when he is interrupted by Mr Poop (Croft Vaughn), a smelly gent in need of some emergency rebranding.

Reluctant to help at first, Greenfield gradually comes to understand the value of poop (this is an American show, folks) via a trip to the Third World on Derri-Air, and a spot of squatting with Martin Luther; and by the end he’s become an evangelical poop-guru called the Puru, belting out closing number I’m A Pooper like a born-again preacher and encouraging his audience to spread the word that a more enlightened attitude to excrement can help solve many of the world’s major problems.

The overall tone of the show is a little confused – one minute it feels like an educational song and dance routine for eight-year-olds, the next minute someone’s threatening to “rip one out of my ass”. The message is somewhat garbled, too: evidently, our poop can be recycled for use as a fertiliser and energy source, but it’s not entirely clear how the Puru thinks we should go about making the change from wasteful flushing to mindful composting. Still, he deserves praise for trying to kick-start the conversation.

• Until 27 August. Today 1pm.

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