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Underbelly, Cowgate ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

August 10, 2022 at 5:30:00 PM

When attempting to fill up our Edinburgh Spreadsheet I try to find as many different genres as possible. The "quirky" show is one of my favourites though frankly, there was little that appealed this year. The clear exception was "Caligari" which I knew I wanted to see as soon as I saw it in the brochure.

"Caligari" is Chewboy productions re-telling of the German silent horror classic "The Cabinet Of Caligari" which (naturally) I have never seen. As we enter the auditorium we see 4 musicians in Gothic make-up and costumes writhing in rhythm and we are immediately transported into this weird setting.

Writer Georgie Bailey and director Lucy Betters realise that in this show atmosphere is everything and once we enter this macabre world we are not easily going to get out , a bit like the characters.

We are soon in a carnival where we see the romantic lives of Jane, Alan and Frances (a change of sex for this production) until they encounter a hypnotist using a somnambulist. If I am honest I found the plot a little tricky to follow and fragmented as the cast kept coming in and out of character. However, the unexpected denouement (at least to me ) seems real and particularly relevant to the times we live in.

Ultimately, this is exactly my type of show. I didn't always understand where I was going but I loved the journey and the cast and music are impeccable. "Caligari" definitely ticks all the boxes I want in a "quirky" show.

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