Puppet Grinder Cabaret **

Oh dear.  It’s sad when a good idea that’s played by people with obvious talent goes wrong.  And that’s about the best I can say for Puppet Grinder Cabaret; it is a production that for the most part has gone wrong.

Fronted by comedian Dave Gibson, the play is a hodgepodge of silly acts, all involving puppetry of some sort.  We have film clips of finger puppets and Claymation, a stunt show and a stripper that goes a bit too far.  As with most cabarets, it’s rather hit-and-miss.  Unfortunately, this production is much more ‘miss’.  Comedy acts Shitty Deal Puppet Theatre and Suitcase Circus fare best with moments that have some genuine laughs, but most of the other material have laughs that are few and far between.

It isn’t for trying.  Each act is obviously fronted by people with good skill, and Gibson is a very funny and entertaining front man.  But in the end, there are a lot of comedy acts floating around Edinburgh right now, so there’s little point in seeing one that only occasionally gets it right.

Sidebar: Shitty Deal Puppet Theatre, easily the best part of the production, has its own show on at The Zoo.  I haven’t seen it, but I saw enough of the act here to say it’s probably worth a look.

Playing the Assembly Rooms until August 31st.


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