Otto & Astrid: Eurosmash! (Die Roten Punkte) | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review by Paul Fleckney
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Otto & Astrid: Eurosmash! (Die Roten Punkte)

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review by Paul Fleckney

Looking like a CBeebies White Stripes, art rock duo  Otto and Astrid have apparently gone in a more Eurovision-inspired direction for their new show, though in truth their songs run the gamut from Europop to Green Day to a rock opera. 

Still, it’s an hour full of energy and infectious enthusiasm, and those who like a bit of slapstick with their musical comedy will find plenty to enjoy.

A falling out between the pair is flagged up early, as Otto has sneaked some songs on to their new album that Astrid isn’t happy with. This comes to a head towards the end when he gets stuck into an acoustic guitar-led plodder that espouses good values and having a social conscience.  While he’s doing this, Astrid is bingeing on crisps and vodka, acting on her desires without thought.

 A lot of their humour comes from daft visuals, the spectacle always triumphing over the substance. Astrid getting on and off her drum stool, for example, becomes an act of silliness. The best example of this is Astrid’s spewing of fruity percussion shakers out of her top and into a bowl. 

I mention CBeebies because even though this is an adult show, it feels an awful lot like a children’s one. They’re a visual act, and on the whole pretty clean (apart from a few glaring exceptions), and they play on children’s versions of guitar and drums. Most of all, their onstage antics have a kind of ADHD quality, as if they’re trying to distract us with something shiny and consequence-free every 20 seconds.

One thing they do particularly well is encourage the audience to join in and whoop and holler, while also taking the piss out of them quite a lot. It provides a much-needed bit of edge. 

Their sibling bickering also works better than their attempts at actual jokes which can be pretty woeful (like Astrid’s sausage puns). It gets a bit weird, though, when Astrid gets jealous with Otto flirting with an audience member with a banana-shaped maraca. It’s as if they forgot they’re meant to be a brother-sister act when they came up with that bit.

As you might hope, the pair know how to finish a show, and their final song is a wonderfully ridiculous and upbeat song about a love explosion. They slam into each other trying to burst the heart balloons that are covering them both, hurling themselves around like they’re on a bouncy castle. It’s a suitably big and silly way to finish.

Review date: 20 Aug 2017
Reviewed by: Paul Fleckney

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