Theatre review: Ex-Batts and Broilers, Assembly Rooms - Powder Room, Edinburgh

Ex-Batts and Broiers, Assembly Rooms - Powder Room (Venue 20)
Ex-Batts and Broiers, Assembly Rooms - Powder Room (Venue 20)
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This is the kind of show that will have you wanting to adopt a chicken at the end, although you might not think so when you walk in and see two women in dungarees wandering about clucking.

Ex-Batts and Broilers, Assembly Rooms - Powder Room, Edinburgh * * *

However, “best chicken friends” Gail and Gemma are two charming clown-like creations who will appeal to anyone who likes poultry-related puns, but also classic comedy double acts.

Through back-flashes, we get the tragic tale of Gemma’s lost love Graham and learn of “lumpy” Gail’s daring escape from chicken factory hell, as well as hear about their beloved new owner Jimmy (with a “creepy” smile) and his forthcoming 60th birthday party. Only one of the chickens has been invited. I wonder why...

READ MORE: All the Scotsman critics 5-star reviews from the 2019 Festivals

You know where it’s heading, but skilled writer/performers Sophie Taylor and Jess Dupré create such a warm and inviting world within the chicken coop, full of ukulele-playing optimism, that it’s a sad contrast to the forthcoming realities of what’s on the menu. At the start it’s silly, by the end it’s tragic. And, as Gail and Gemma sing “Tonight you belong to me” in a musical finale, it’s both a celebration of their friendship and a hint at the horror to come.

Until 24 August

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