Two self-identified Creepy Boys in the Shining tradition are throwing their 13th birthday party, with their reluctant babysitter Sharon on tech and an audience full of potential best friends.
What follows is a mixture of games, make-belief, some low-level satanism and a surprising amount of 00s (I guess this show definitely earns the right to call them the naughties) nostalgia, mostly around pop songs and the first Spiderman film, all against the cheery backdrop of a seemingly disused Victorian surgery demonstration room decorated with some balloons. (ah, the Fringe, where if it can’t be used as a performance space, you’re just not trying hard enough. Or maybe you’re just trying at all.)
Company Scantily Glad Theatre and writer-performers Sam Kruger and S.E. Grummett made their Edinburgh Fringe debut last year with Fool Moon Komming and Something In the Water respectively, with the latter show also being the winner of the Best Theatre Award at Adelaide Fringe 2021 and, as one of the best shows he saw last Fringe, the reason this reviewer signed on to see this show without even knowing what it’s about.
Their comedic style, built on Pochinko clowning which merges the pedagogy of French performer Jacques Lecoq and Canadian First Nations performance practice, is on terrific display here, not only in their sexy dances or routines such as a re-enactment of their own birth, but also in their manic delivery of the spoken text (“Guys-guys-guys-guys-guys!!!!”) in both its childish, gross or cruel moments. Its energy and precision is masterly, helping propel the show through its shifting subjects and themes, and their confidence shows in their interactions with the audience, either planned or improvised, in such things as a game of Truth or Dare.
While the idea of the Fringe is sold on the offbeat and the small scale, too often are its main attractions the big names (either living or dead) and the ordinary (ever seen a white man on stage talking about himself into a microphone??!!). The Creepy Boys are neither big names or ordinary, and though their journey across the Atlantic may have brought them over the Gulf Stream, it certainly hasn’t taken them into the mainstream, and that is all to the good. Energetic, passionate, professional and often very funny, this is a show that defies summary with its own buzzwords (the show is comedy, horror, nostalgia, LGBT+, to name a few) and deserves to be seen.
Creepy Boys plays until August 27th (not 21st) at Summerhall Demonstration Room, and tickets can be found at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/creepy-boys
Reviewer: Oliver Giggins
Reviewed: 13th August 2023
North West End UK Rating: