The Golden Lizard, Pleasance Courtyard

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The Independent Culture

As you’d expect from a show that combines the comic talents of Mike Wozniak and Henry Paker, there are flashes of bonkers brilliance in this hour. Part adventure, part bogus science lecture, it’s loosely the tale of the pursuit of a missing and mysteriously powerful library book, The Golden Lizard. A tale of “men with congenitally sinister eyes”, romance among the Rolodexes and Shiny Clive, the bald squirrel.

With the plot largely unfathomable, the real joy lies in the duo’s surreal flights of fancy. There are brief lessons about sarcastic numbers and the five states of matter, a meeting with a villain who specialises in the art of “predictive conversationology” and a packing list including items such as “telescopic fleece” and “powdered phrase-book”.

These moments are almost enough to carry the show, which falters in the last third and descends into irredeemable silliness by the end. Wozniak and Paker, though, remain unusual talents to watch and their finest lines lodge in the mind like a favourite bedtime story.

To 30 Aug (0131 556 6550)

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