Centralia

Superbolt Theatre

Zoo

From 01 August 2012 to 27 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Graeme Strachan

Deep within the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania reside the three sole inhabitants. The only three plucky enough to remain after the town was abandoned due to poisonous gasses billowing from the burning underground coal seam which has been smouldering below Centralia for over 40 years. Except of course the three inhabitants are in Edinburgh, doing a Fringe show to promote the plight of their town and its history.

Centralia is the sort of wonderfully madcap performance that comes around only during the Fringe. Superbolt Theatre has created a gem of awkwardness and well-meaning mummery as the three actors—Maria Askew, Frode Gjerlow and Simon Maeder—use their many and various skills to winkingly goof their way through the deliberately amateurish performance, pausing only to display their remarkable talents and seeming touchingly shocked at the enthusiastic audience reactions.

It's a barrel of laughs with some great musical moments and great farcical elements. The only drawback is the slightly misjudged ending which comes a little too much from left-field and threw me quite jarringly.

Still, it's a fine production and a great indication that their other show, Piatto Finale, will also be just as worthwhile.