As Part of the Edinburgh Horror Festival, at The Banshee Labyrinth just off Edinburgh’s ghostly Royal Mile Dr Bonk’s Macarbaret promises an evening of drag, burlesque, music, comedy and medical mayhem. Dr. Bonk, imagine a more creepy and cookie version of Mr Bean if you will, unspeaking and with a white leather beak-like gimp mask. Prompted by a script read from the back of the room, the reason for this being…unclear?
The demographics in the 50-seater underground chamber are interesting, 90% female and average age of twenty-something.
The bird-faced Bonk is an odd-looking character who prods and pokes various audience members with his stethoscope and at one point removes the earwax from one rather uneasy looking young lady to create an instant candle. Which drew some nervous laughter.
The tone and humour of Dr Bonk is generally of a kids party level, which makes me wonder if this is his day job? Inoffensive but mundane, but alongside acts with much more adult tone, which leads to a very uneven show indeed.
That’s not to say it was all terrible. The video elements of the show worked very well, in particular the demo video on how to wash your hands properly, which involved an unknowing assistant, a chainsaw and lots of hand gel. There was also a hideously brilliant drag act, a trombone playing comedian and a barely-clad young man stapling a dollar to his buttocks and his tongue – I did say it was uneven!
Oh well, onwards and downwards!
Reviewer: Greg Holstead
Reviewed: 27th October 2023
North West End UK Rating: