The Fantastical Flying Exploratory Laboratory
Les Enfants Terribles
From 14 July 2016 to 17 July 2016
Review by David Chadderton
Les Enfants Terribles, a company which has, justifiably, risen in prominence since I first saw them in Edinburgh in 2007, took to the outdoors a couple of years ago with Dr Longitude's Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie (company co-founder James Seager spoke to us about it for the BTG podcast last year).
This new show is described as a "stand-alone 'side-quel'" and takes place on a flying ship suspended in mid-air and surrounded by chutes, machines and other contraptions with a mock Victorian-style design somewhere between Heath Robinson and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The attention to detail in the design is faultless, as we have come to expect from Les Enfants.
The story follows Dr Latitude (coincidence?) on a quest to find the ingredients for an elixir of eternal life, which takes the small team of quirky misfits around the world and even into outer space for an extended flying sequence singing Bowie's Major Tom. There is also lots of original music and original songs and jingles.
There's enough visual humour and flashiness to keep the attention of young children but the script is also full of wit that will appeal to the adults—even a dig at the prices at Holland and Barrett in song.
The show is performed with lots of energy, humour and commitment by a cast that weren't the least fazed by some radio mic issues, no doubt caused by atmospheric conditions, so the audience hardly noticed.
It's great fun for all ages and well worth forty minutes or so of your time.