Bedlam
5-18 Aug

With only a few days in Edinburgh this year I had to choose my schedule carefully. I took a punt on Election: A Silent Comedy because I'm a sucker for slapstick and thought I might stumble across (pun intended) a young company to watch.

While the latter hope may yet prove true (I'd hate to write Awkward Cough off solely on the basis of this), watching this frankly pathetic attempt at physical comedy was enough to test my commitment to the genre to its limit.

Against an incessant hillbilly banjo soundtrack, three performers (Thomas Booth, Ian Farnell and Samuel Oliver) act out an imaginary election night. They're representing the Purple Party and they appear to be doomed, comprising as they do an alcoholic leader, a smart but accident prone speech writer and his bumbling stooge of a sidekick.

As they variously prat-fall, slap each other and staple things to their ties, the three amigos somehow survive the gruelling evening, which is about the best they can expect from their audience as well.

While it's moderately impressive that Messrs Booth, Farnell and Oliver are able to remember their business so fluidly at this early stage of the run (if only because the material itself is so unmemorable) there is little else to commend this lamentable stab at silent satire.