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Underbelly, Cowgate - Big Belly


I have been coming to the Edinburgh festival since 1986 and reviewing since 2008. Over the years I have seen a lot of shows and it is always hard knowing what shows to choose. Basically, I like to choose a balance between old favourites and interesting new shows and the latter is the category that persuaded me to add Clusterfluxes PLEASE leave (a message) to my spreadsheet.

From the blurb in the brochure I just couldn't picture the show and what better way to find out about a show is there than actually seeing it. Eleven o clock is quite early for a show at Underbelly and I struggled to even get into the building let alone find the venue. When I eventually entered Big Belly I encountered a space covered with the kind of white plastic sheeting you would expect to see in a science experiment with the cast suitably wearing white plastic overalls.The premise of the piece is a recent announcement that a mountain in New Mexico will be the site of the dumping of nuclear waste making the area uninhabitable for thousands of years.

The play is concerned about how you create a message to reach all the relevant people for that length of time.I won't reveal how they solve that problem but I will state that it involves the use of unexpected modern songs and a huge amount of imagination to make what is basically a depressing situation so entertaining.

I wasn't aware of the work of ClusterFlux before this festival but I will ensure that I keep abreast of any future shows they develop. For me the Edinburgh festival exists to promote the previously little known performers whose work deserves to be seen on a wider scale. Generally there is one show a year here that blows my mind .This year I am pleased to state this is PLEASE LEAVE (a message) and it is only the first Saturday.

If you fancy seeing something unique rush to Underbelly. You can thank me later (and you will leave with a variety of well known songs reverberating around your head).

I can't recommend this highly enough. Go.

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