Flabberghast Theatre
Assembly George Square Theatre

Skrimshanks Credit: Richard Lock

Clowning and buffoonery is something of a lost art, and its waning popularity could be attributed to a change in taste, or the rampant coulrophobia that keeps people away from men in wigs and painted faces.

Whatever the reason, it could explain why the venue was rather unfairly short on patrons the evening I went to see Flabberghast Theatre's Skrimshanks. Nevertheless, the pair of gurning, hunchback, swell-bellied clowns made the best of the drunken baker's dozen that had ambled into the theatre, clawing every ounce of gigglesome glee they could.

Considering the poor standard of craic that was available, from the squiffy woman who kept calling the show "spindleshinks", to an overchatty girl who could almost have been a member of the cast from the amount she spoke.

But, nevertheless, the charm of the improvisation and quick-witted acts of the two "Bouffons" and their technician ensured that it was a brilliant escapade. Ironic then that a scrimshank is one who shirks their responsibility; this pair did anything but.

Had it been a packed theatre, with a fizzing crowd, it might have been a vastly different experience and with all improvisational comedy, the fare is changeable dependent on the night and the crowd. But with an open mind and a good sense of humour, you'll have a wonderful time.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan

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