Theatre review: Nearly Human, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

Nine-piece brass band, Perhaps Contraption, make their first foray into theatre with this concept piece expressing the wonder of atomic theory and human physiology, through the medium of massed brass, percussion, tranquil harmony singing and recorded recitations.
A curve-ball worth catchingA curve-ball worth catching
A curve-ball worth catching

Nearly Human, Pleasance Dome (Venue 23) * * *

The results are often beguiling, occasionally earnest, a bit bonkers and uniquely Fringey. Inevitably, a concept album is in the works.

There is a gentle theatricality to the way the musicians position themselves, how they physically overlap as well as intertwine musically. They begin with delicate harmonies and twinkling xylophone, creating a beatific barbershop meditation on the micro and the macro, which resolves into a babble of statistics on the molecular make-up of mankind.

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Then the brass kicks in, bringing a euphoric blast of energy, and the group ride that freewheeling dynamic, transporting the audience with them through the joyous, catchy pop chorale My Word, the minor-key marvel of Squashing Pennies, a literal trombone duel, the mellow, hippyish trill of flute on Bloodhound and the urgent jazzy cacophony of Fly.

There are stranger things available on the Fringe but this is a curve-ball worth catching.

Until 26 August