Cream Tea and Incest is playing at the Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. An all female cast take on the daunting task of farcical theatre.

Farce is hard. No two ways about it, a farce can be the most terrifying form of theatre to create because of the sheer level of concentration and pace required to make it happen. Not only that but the jokes need surgically perfect timing or they get lost in the speed of action. Cream Tea and Incest goes for it right from the off. There is slapstick, wordplay and even the odd ‘dad joke’ to keep us tickled. The costumes are great quality and well thought out to give a timeless effect, the set and props are rightly few and far between but when they appear have a unique and stylish aesthetic. The lighting is also slick and well designed as we traverse through an empty set with dozens of locations.

It is a fine job by the actors, driving the scenes forward with a nudge and wink to the audience and committed characterisations. The lead role could have had more variation of tone, as it felt a little on one-note at times. Again, a tough job to play the utter idiot (see Hugh Laurie or Rick Mayall for exceptional examples) and still give us enough truth to care about the stakes, the obstacles they come up against and the overall journey. This is confirmed by plenty of titters and snorts but only rarely punctuated with bigger laughs.

Cream Tea and Incest has some excellent comedic moments, memorable characters and there was plenty of chuckling throughout.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Cream Tea and Incest at Gilded Balloon
Author Rating
Owain is a lecturer in Acting and Drama at the University of Northampton. Side careers in performing, writing and directing theatre when the opportunities arise. He has an MA in Actor Training and Coaching from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.


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