Almost Nothing to Do With Frogs, Underbelly, Edinburgh
The Edinburgh Fringe is all about talent-spotting but forget Footlights - if you really want to see the next generation of performers first, the smart money is on Double Edge Drama. This is theatre company of Eton College, whose recent alumni include Eddie Redmayne, Harry Lloyd and Tom Hiddleston, to name but a few.
Double Edge has been bringing shows to the Fringe for 21 years. This year, the 48-strong troupe have four on offer, but the one most in tune to the anarchic spirit of the Fringe is Almost Nothing to Do With Frogs, an irreverent retooling of Aristophanes’ classic for the X Factor generation.
In this version, written by Dan Byam Shaw and Guy Clark, the chorus become glam rockers wielding cardboard guitars and thrashing at air drums, while Dionysus and Xanthias are two down-on-their-luck sitcom writers in desperate need of hit. Together they head to the underworld (on infernal Easyjet, of course) to resurrect an old master and thus “single-handedly reverse the decay of modern drama”.
Cue lots of silly, wittily written encounters with Marlowe, Shakespeare and, in the play’s best scene, a portentous Pinter. It’s all performed with tremendous energy and rubber-faced zeal to Clark’s impressive score which has shades of Franz Ferdinand and the Drums. On this evidence, Eton is still churning out ones to watch.
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