Review from: Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Pleasance Dome.
What even happened? It’s the next morning and Im still reeling.
Stamptown is a weekend show at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, bringing you a selection of different clowns, comedians and cabaret performers each time. And if it wasnt already selling out I’d be going each night. This is the hidden gem frequent Fringe visitors dream of.
The acts are a different variety each night, some puppets, some drag acts, some clowns, characters and singers. The only thing they all have in common is they are all full on. There is no escape. Audience participation is demanded. It is not a circus show, but there are circus acts and a definite contemporary clown vibe in many of the stand ups.
Like he’s been fired from a gun, Jack Tucker enters as our host. Working in partnership with his sound mixer (who is just as much a stand up act in the show as anyone), they create a hyperactive vibe that has people gasping and choking on laughter within the first few seconds of the show starting. He’s the glue that holds the show together …except he doesn’t and it all goes a bit wrong. Which only adds to the hilarity and the devil may care attitude the show gives off. When he has fully lost control of the show – to an audience baying for the Family Guy theme tune to be played for a fourteenth time – you know you’re in for some weird stuff. It is one of the greatest things I have sat through in my 20 years at the Fringe.
There were many great acts, all who have their own show at the Fringe in 2022, so you can search for more of the same if you liked certain acts. It’s a brilliant idea to introduce people to styles of comedy they might not have otherwise taken a chance on. Worth mentioning is total star and highlight of the bunch on my visit, one of the greatest burlesque performers ever: Tara Boom. Her popcorn machine finale needs to be seen to be believed. I will never again smell fresh popcorn and not think about this act, it both haunts and delights me. The whole programme though is packed with laughs and talent. Cherry picked weirdness.
To reveal anything more of the event would be to spoil the experience, if you ever find yourself able to get tickets. And if you are ever able, it’s a must. If you need more convincing, just know that at one point every woman under 40 all stood up and burst into song at the exact same time, while an old man in a small child’s fairy costume was performing ‘Part of Your World’ from The Little Mermaid. If that’s not the kind of community-involved comedy clown show you want, then you don’t know what you want.