Festival theatre review: Auditorium

C (VENUE 34)Three Stars

ANY battle cries from the miserabilist anti-Fringers, who suggest that innovation is waning at this year's festival, should be silenced by this pacey, part-improv theatre piece.

The bonkers brainchild of Three's Company, the show is set around Guy's bookshop, as he struggles to keep things afloat, while attempting to win back the affections of the ex to whom he's just given a job. Unbeknownst to him, the storeroom of his shop harbours a secret portal to us, the audience, a fact our hapless hero realises to his horror shortly after curtain up, when confronted by the evil Flipstars, who are determined to get their hands on it.

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A show within a show, Auditorium ultimately depends on the willingness of its audience to be active participants. Upon entering the theatre, each person is given a badge on which to write their name and in the course of the show more than a handful become a part of its barking ebb and flow.

The show's strengths are at times its weaknesses, and the cast occasionally struggles to follow instructions based on the fickle whims of the audience, and the same old gags become rather laboured, but at its heart this is just good, clean late-night fun.

Until 25 August. Today 9:05pm