Scotland! is an all ages, accessible troupe clowning experience built around the framework of three Scotsmen out for a walk in the Highlands.
With scene setting a highlight, the trio’s ability to take the dusty boards of Casa Mondo and turn them into a Highland cliff, a battleground, or the still surface of Loch Lomond with simple mime and vocalised sound effects is remarkable.
Tightly coordinated physical movement, best exemplified by an impressive patty-cake scene that went from height to height, illustrates the incredible skill of these Jacques Lecoq trained performers.
Given none of the trio are Scottish, they've created a wonderfully respectful themed show that manages to hit an array of Scottish notes without straying into too many damaging stereotypes.
Shifting from high energy physical comedy to more restrained set pieces at the drop of a Glengarry bonnet, the trio effectively build anticipation within a scene.
This is not purely physical comedy, however, with minimalist voiced dialogue and a surprising number of songs—naturally all on theme—featuring within the show.
Sam Dugmore largely plays the straight man to his two taller fools, Jonathan Tilley and Oliver Nilsson, but they all have their time in the spotlight, as do a select few audience members.
Like any performance that draws on audience participation, a lot of value can be drawn from how much the person plucked from their seat puts in. Conversely, the reluctance of a participant can challenge the momentum of the show.
The three performers, while exceptionally skilled at physical interaction with audience members, missed the opportunity to choose a more suitable participant on this occasion. Fortunately, they were able to effectively fill in the space, maintaining the show’s energy, around an audience member who took much longer than hoped to warm to their role.
Scotland! is a show filled with tartan-clad mime, thistle-scented slapstick, and a surprisingly touching closing scene. The room heaves with laughter and rhythmic clapping almost throughout, and it’s clear we adore the buffoons before us.
Tickets available from the FRINGE WORLD website.