There was no grand entry for Puddles himself, he was sitting on the stage chewing a massive wad of gum and looking miserable as we took our seats. Not only miserable, but at well over 6ft high, with a shaved head, white faced and dressed in a white clown outfit, he looked like something that nightmares are made of.
Puddles performed without speaking, he sang, he danced and he terrified the audience. At various points throughout the performance he intimidated audience members into joining him on stage.
He made a woman stand on stage for five minutes while he made love to a chair, not once, but twice (to see it is to believe it). He then placed a furry animal type hat on her head, covering her eyes, and danced with her. The audience howled with laughter throughout.
A man was dragged on to the stage and a microphone put in front of him. As Puddles doesn’t speak the man looked around nervously for a moment, until the full horror of what was about to happen was revealed. The words to All By Myself appeared on the screen and the man had no choice, but to sing it (literally) all by himself. Hats off to the guy, he did well under extreme pressure and a glaring audience.
Later two guys were dragged on to the stage and had to pretend to be guitar playing rockstars. By this point the audiences singing, clapping and laughter was louder than the party going on around George Square.
His crowd work was uncomfortable, as he charged a round looking for his next victim. Once you’re chosen, there is no way out. Humiliation is coming to get you.
And it didn’t end there. Puddles sprayed the audience with popcorn and chucked the rest around.
If you don’t want to get covered in chewed popcorn, don’t sit at the front. Unfortunately not sitting at the front won’t save you from Puddles. This larger than life character can get you wherever you are.
I loved it. Outstanding, hilarious, dark and a little grotesque. A fantastic way to start to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, for a Fringe virgin. I’m excited about the rest.
Richard Bacon and Kevin Costner fans are going to love this to.
You need to go and see the show.
Piccolo Tent, Assembly George Square Gardens, George Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ, 16 – 29 August 2016.