The Vaudevillains

Script and lyrics by Oliver Lansley, music by Tomas Gisby

Les Enfants Terribles

Assembly George Square Gardens

From 04 August 2016 to 28 August 2016

Rating: ****

Review by David Chadderton

Les Enfants has grown and diversified considerably over the last few years, with shows currently running in London at The Vaults and Madame Tussauds and on tour, so it's great to see the company's writer and co-founder Oliver Lansley on stage again in Edinburgh.

Lansley is "The Compère", a sinister ringmaster with shades of the Emcee from Cabaret, who introduces the acts in the show: knife-thrower Ray the Blade (Will Arundel), magician Mephisto (Tsemaye Bob-Egbe), ventriloquist Albert Frog (Anthony Spargo), traditional French mime Gaston Gasteau (Philip Oakland) and siamese triplets the Cerberus Sisters (Emma Fraser, Nicola Hawkin and Phillipa Hogg).

The opening song, "Tonight at the Empire", is interrupted by theatre owner Charlie (Richard Emerson) appearing, but very quickly he ends up dead in a way that incriminates all of the acts.

Each of the acts, in answer to accusations, tells his or their history in flashbacks, before the real culprit is revealed at the end.

A large proportion of the story is told in song, with some great music and well-crafted lyrics. If you've seen Les Enfants before, the Victorian cabaret visual style to accompany the sinister characters will be familiar´╗┐, but they do it very well.

It's a well-crafted, fun show that's a great way to end an Edinburgh evening.