As starts to the morning go, sitting down to enjoy some slapstick comedy is quite good fun. Acá Theatre has brought its family clown show to the Edinburgh Fringe in the guise of Better Together. Setting out to bring a little fun with the undertone of making the most of the real world, it has enough fun for children to feel this is not a lecture.
Doa, Squiggle and Tropizo are the characters in the piece, and yes clowns. It quickly becomes apparent that the fun will be in their unfamiliar language and behaviour. Our familiar will be that of the circumstance of the piece. The 50 minute production is, on the surface, all about waiting for a bus.
And yet, of course, all is not as it seems. We’re quickly introduced to the idea that listening to headphones are quite limiting to interaction. That by taking the time to listen there is so much to enjoy. Given the motivation behind the piece is of reducing screen time and increasing time together, the messaging throughout the piece is a constant.
Through the colourfully fun acrobatics of actors Francisa Stangel, Nick Eastburn and Avi Simmons it quickly becomes clear that when electronic devices are lost, relationships in real life can be formed. As clowns, the trio are personable, drawing the audience into their peculiarities and ensuring the laughter bounces along throughout.
Whilst there is enough in the piece to keep adults entertained- for me the awkwardness of public transport moments were perfectly replicated, there is the familiar feeling that the target age of 4-10 maybe stretching. Seren at nine, found the comic elements entertaining, but overall found it too young. We both agreed that her brothers, age 7, would have loved it.
Better Together is a perfectly motivated piece. One which should resonate with young children and their families. It’s wonderfully comedic and lots of fun. This is definitely one which will brighten any day.
Better Together was performed by Acá Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Disclosure: We have media accreditation as part of the Festival. All views and opinions contained are own.