Fringe: Sweatshop ****

Sweatshop, Assembly George Square
Sweatshop, Assembly George Square

Sweatshop ****

Assembly George Square

Old Moira Knox, the permanently ‘Outraged of Davidsons Mains’ would have been appalled at some elements of this late night show.

The legendary Tory cooncillor, and guardian of the city’s morals come festival time, would have thoroughly disapproved of the nudity, and heavens knows what she’d have made of Gingzilla, international glamonster and drag act who stood nigh on seven feet tall in her killer heels.

And yet, this show was anything but based around the desire to shock.

Sweatshop sets the bar for all late night cabaret to follow.

It’s essentially a show to showcase other shows, but it doesn’t feel like one, and that’s thanks to the tight-knitted group of performers, their host, the immaculate Mikelangelo, and the atmosphere they create.

They tap into that anything goes, after dark feel of late night cabaret by wandering around their audience, and hanging round the pillars of the tent before each taking to the stage.

The agility and athleticism – hallmarks of previous Briefs shows brought to the city – of the performers are remarkable, and a joy to watch.

And there is variety on a scale that mashes up the senses.

From Tara Boom’s bonkers hula-hooping while making popcorn, to Gingzilla’s unique act, they have to be seen to be believed.

There is outstanding burlesque too from the amazing Lada Redstar whose homage film to Sarajevo was remarkable and highly original

And then there is Miss Betty Grumble whose all-revealing Can Can makes the Follies Bergere look like a Women’s Institute tea party, and if you thought that was risqué, then wait for her finale!

And pulling it altogether is Mikelangelo who too prowls the tent to sing, chat and weave a story around the performers before everyone is invited to get up and shimmy.

The 20-minute delay in opening the doors was forgotten long before we danced back into the night. Glorious stuff!


Assembly George Square,

Until August 27, 10.00 pm.

Ticket info at Ed Fringe