There’s a time machine in George Square Gardens capable of whisking you straight back to the 1970s. Le Haggis is a Scottish cabaret night which blends circus and ceilidh. It sounds like a winning pairing in theory, but in reality it fails to deliver.
This is Fringe’s big year of circus: there’s so much inventive and high-quality contemporary work around, and this just feels like an ugly anachronism in comparison. There are some serviceable circus routines here, albeit by-numbers stuff, and the music’s fine as these things go – a mix of Deacon Blue, Rod Stewart, and Donald Where’s Your bloody Troosers. But it’s the way so much of the material is framed that’s really maddening. Several sequences feature doe eyed women cooing at a barrel-chested men; of their two female aerial artists, one wears a skimpy white negligee, while the other sports glittery crimson nipple coverings, and they’re still making tired gags about the Diet Coke ads from years ago, complete with the performer in question mopping his sweaty bollocks at the end.
The most dubious sequence by some degree, however, features one of the male members of the troupe, clad in a backless-tutu and white bunny ears, bending over in front of Grant Dinwodie’s kilt-wearing lunk while ‘jokes’ are made about stuffing a haggis and the necessity of a moist entry. It’s crass, cheap stuff, and sours a show which already feels tired and dated.
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