4/5 Stars

★★★★ Don’t Worry, Be a Clown

Anna Hadley reviews Bost-Uni Plues at Edinburgh Fringe.


As a recent graduate fumbling towards unemployment, I sought to find shows relative to my current lifestyle of career insecurity and day-time television. I found Bost-Uni Plues. I had done no other research, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it definitely wasn’t this. This show was weird. Very weird. But it was also surprisingly great.

Bost-Uni Plues is a show produced by Ugly Bucket, a performance art trio from Liverpool, who are recent graduates themselves. Their graduate prospects have culminated in clown theatre. I am not known for my enjoyment of clowns, but in actuality this was very well executed. All of these actors were truly committed to appearing as ugly as possible on stage. They communicated to the audience in nonsensical language, which was nevertheless accessible. There was improvisation and audience participation which all seemed to enjoy. And it paid off to hilarity.

The clowning offsets the more serious note of the show. The undercurrent is an interview segment which broadly concerns the pressure to find a career worthy of £27,000 of debt, the struggle of moving back home to Mum and Dad, and losing one’s sense of purpose. However, if you prefer shows which dissect disillusionment with the zeal of a post-graduate dissertation in Fredric Jameson, this won’t be for you. Instead, it’s an hour of fun which slips down as easily as face paint on a clown.

This production reminds me of one of last year’s acclaimed shows, HOTTER. Clowning may not carry the same prestige as, say a graduate scheme at KPMG, but I think that these actors have found their vocation. I am very excited to see what Ugly Bucket decides to do next.


Categories: 4/5 Stars, review

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