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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Death By Gameshow
Darkly surreal and laugh-out-loud comedy. Host Limbo, our heady host with the most, invites you to witness the gameshow experience of a deathtime!
Death By Gameshow
There is a moment in Death By Gameshow when a man largely concealed inside a box begins to sing... and it's lovely. Not just because he has a really good singing voice but because his song provides a welcome respite from the rest of the show.
Performances seen in the first few days of the Fringe often feel under-prepared but that's not the problem here. The main difficulty with Death By Gameshow is that its premise is exhausted as soon as the show starts and what follows is a painful and lengthy exposition of an unfunny idea. Or to put it another way, if your hour-long show is built on a single joke, then it's pretty unwise to give it away in the title.
The man with the singing voice plays the compere of a gameshow in which contestants lose their lives if they fail to win. The gameshow's participants are each played by the same pair of performers and their costume and accent changes are, like the contestants they represent, gamely executed.
But the points of difference between the couples are achieved by portraying them as shallow national stereotypes and this joke wears so thin that you can see through it. There are a lot of frenetic scene changes and much of the time the action is noisily chaotic without anything funny to justify the din.
There is very little to enjoy in this show even though the performances are reasonably slick and the cast manage to squeeze in a lot of complex business because neither of these things count for anything if the writing isn't adequate. It's all well and good being word perfect but the most important preparation is the time spent with pen and paper before the rehearsals begin – and that part of the process was sadly neglected.
|Date of live review: Wednesday 11th Aug, '10|
Review by Jason Stone
Excellent and totally original show. Haven't seen anything else like it on the fringe. Thoroughly recommend
Loved the music loved the dance loved the videos. Very amusing
This is a lovely show. The so called one joke of the title set the scene for the show. lots of music lots of dance lots of videos lots of lovely visuals. This is a fun and amusing show.
This will be cult: "Oregano!"
So much more to enjoy in this show than just the singing, my favourite bit was the tap dancing coffin and the man with the miniature piano.
How could Jason Stone possibly shrug off well crafted songs and beautiful films as merely 'complex business'. Sounds to me like he just didn't like the premise before he went in and that was his mind made up. I have already seen this show twice, and can't comprehend how anyone could dislike such a strange, adorable and original little show.
I loved this show, especially the Dragon's Den parody - absolutely hilarious, and very surreal! Shame this reviewer didn't appreciate or get it.
Jason Stone did you actually watch this show? Why did you fail to mention the excellent saxophone “Blues-off”, the accordion serenade, the inventiveness, the brilliant films. Even if it wasn’t to your taste it seems weird that you’d write something so cruel about something that is very original. I now plan to go and see everything you have marked with a 1 star review, clearly it is going to be worth watching. I wish better luck to these poor kids, for whom your writing has done such a injustice.