Those late-night Edinburgh Fringe slots are the tricky ones, with productions taking them on having to find a way to keep the sleep-deprived awake, and the drunk suitably entertained. Eifion Ap Cadno’s The Dip manages to do both with ease in a surprisingly funny, touching, and very wacky mix of theatre and live music.
Al and Nic are best mates, hanging out and having ‘lad banter’ over quite a few beers. They are both straight as far as we know, but Al (William Patrick Harrison) wants to kiss Nic (Max Young) as the line between romance and friendship becomes blurred. Fuelled by too much alcohol, and perhaps something else, Al lapses in to an altered state of consciousness, which sees him arrested by the Baba Ganoush Gestapo (Josh Tucker), processed through the ‘system’, almost marrying his case worker and surviving a shoot-out with Officer Flatfish (Nick Mauldin) – who is an actual flatfish!
Shakespeare it’s not, but neither is it trying to be. The Dip knows exactly what it wants to achieve, goes for it full throttle, and delivers it in spades. The cast are clearly having a brilliant time and that energy and enthusiasm is soaked up by the tired and wilting audience, who get in to the swing of things almost immediately. Almost all of the cast contribute to the live music which accompanies the over the top and funny dialogue, Sophie Hammer is excellent on Bass, while Iulia Isar gives us a wonderful turn on the xylophone. The pace is intense, the jokes and physical theatre come thick and fast.
The Dip is a fine example of an Edinburgh Fringe production that knows exactly what it is and who it’s catering for. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither should its audiences. I didn’t really know what to expect when I went in to this show, but I wept with laughter and had a whole heap of fun. A surprisingly enjoyable production, even if I know I’ll never manage look at Baba Ganoush, or a flat fish in the same way again.