Theatre review: Ma Biche et Mon Lapin, Institut Français d’Ecosse (Venue 134), Edinburgh

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WHO knows what shenanigans the knick-knacks on your sideboard get up to when your back is turned. The porcelain rabbit, the lace doilies, the whisky miniature, the decorative napkin holder, the reproduction Alpine chalet … they all look innocuous enough but, according to Collectif Aïe Aïe Aïe, they’re secretly at it like – well, like porcelain rabbits. ****

Ma Biche et Mon Lapin

Institut franÇais d’Ecosse (Venue 134)

Star rating: * * * *

In this short and sweet 
two-hander, performed on a table top for a tiny audience as if by special request, puppeteers Charlotte Blin and Julien Mellano tell a tale of sex and romance using the kind of objects we associate with kitsch living-room decoration.

The biche and lapin (doe and rabbit) of the title could be the pottery figurines that take pride of place on your grandmother’s mantelpiece. Your grandmother, however, is unlikely to have imagined them getting off with each other or seductively sharing the dish of pâté contained in their hollow insides.

Neither is she likely to have wired them for sound (the music is one of the show’s strong points), and even in her most depraved moments, she will not have seen an image of sexual congress in a napkin penetrating a napkin ring, or a lusty bottle of spirits emptying itself into a virgin glass.

Oddly, none of this strikes one as rude or salacious. It’s as innocent as the doilies that fall as snow across the miniature landscape, blanketing the cottage where two neighbours are busy making the bed squeak. For all the innuendo, this is an essentially romantic vision, a view of sexual attraction that is simple, mutual and conflict-free.

At just 30 minutes long, this wordless show is not going to change your life, but it’s the kind of quirky discovery that makes the Fringe special.

• Until 24 August. Today 12:25pm, 3:25pm and 5:25pm.