The Acrobat, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

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The Independent Culture

Even without the fairy dust scattered over our hero Alberto, there's a warmth and magic about Concrete Temple Theatre's engaging production of The Acrobat, written and performed by real-life partners Renee Philippi and Carlo Adinolfi.

Their blend of humour and subtle use of metaphor to illustrate personal development make it a kind of Il Postino for children. Loosely based on Gogol's The Orange Princess, it draws on the rich commedia dell'arte tradition and relies heavily on an evocative soundtrack.

A gauche Italian postal worker throws in his job in order to see America. But the emotional ties that bind him to hearth and home, plus the curse of a wicked witch, prove too much.

A bang on his head takes Alberto into a fantasy land where he must marry the orange moon. Atouching faith in the orange princess leads him on his journey, where, having fought off gigantic hands holding him back, he reaches a new freedom on waking up.

The agile Adinolfi is a beguiling and versatile entertainer and Philippi, director as well as bit-part actor, manages to be alternately crabby, sweet-faced and monstrous. In a very short time both will have tightened up their acts, he in his overlong change of clothes and she in projecting her characters a little more animatedly, making this a delightful show for children.

To 28 August, except 14 (0131-556 6550)

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