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What if the Plane Falls Out of the Sky? review at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh – ‘self-consciously quirky’

Cast of What if the Plane Falls Out of the Sky. Photo: Jack Offord Cast of What if the Plane Falls Out of the Sky. Photo: Jack Offord

Idiot Child’s new show takes the form of a madcap self-help seminar. Wearing suit jackets festooned with badges for various achievements, Susie Riddell, Adam Fuller, Emma Keaveney-Roys lead us through a series of confidence-building, anxiety-busting exercises.

They play a trio of siblings called Heron, Magpie and Feral Pigeon who, abandoned by their parents, have created a kind of cult around a mysterious and man called Jeff, who may be a figment of Heron’s imagination, to help them deal with life’s many terrors.

There are some delightful lines in Anna Harpin’s script, particularly its collection of things to fear, from being unloved to dying in several undignified and embarrassing ways. A lot of these worries seem to concern having to do a poo in public. We are then asked to draw pictures of the things that scare us (I draw an oddly shaped wasp) but nothing much is made of these.

For all the cast’s endearing energy, the tone of forced surrealism grates at times and a sequence in which Mini Cheddars and mojitos are doled out, while lively and fun – I mean, who doesn’t appreciate a free mojito – feels likes time-filling.

What if the Plane Falls Out of the Sky? feels more like a series of skits than a show with an objective or an arc, but under all the kittenish glittery whimsy and the excessive quirkiness there’s an uplifting message about the importance of support and learning how to cope with the things that life throws at you.

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Endearing, if self-consciously quirky, comic self-help seminar about facing your fears