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No Kids review at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh – ‘compelling devised show’

George Mann and Nir Paldi in No Kids at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh. Photo: Alex Brenner George Mann and Nir Paldi in No Kids at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh. Photo: Alex Brenner
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For the past 13 years or so, Nir Paldi and George Mann have taken it in turns to create a show for their theatre company Ad Infinitum. Partners in real life, they claim that if they’re ever in the same rehearsal room they’d end up fighting savagely.

So it’s remarkable that they’ve ended up making No Kids together, a show about whether they should have children, and even more remarkable that those arguments haven’t stopped it from being so good.

The piece is a mixture of fact and flights of fiction, exploring the pros and cons of having children as a gay couple. Set in front of a few tables and two racks of clothes arranged in rainbow colours, Mann and Paldi are constantly flying around the stage, swapping roles and veering into fantasies about whether their hypothetical child would be a good kid or a troublemaker.

Obviously there’s fantastic chemistry between the two of them, not just in the moments when they’re agreeing, or embracing, or kissing, but also in the ferocious arguments. It all seems so natural, and they’re clearly having loads of fun.

And it’s no surprise that the show is constantly compelling, what with all their separate experience as theatre makers unified here.

There’s also a Madonna song for every mood, some set to rather fabulous routines, all in service of capturing the complexities of making this life-changing decision.

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Compelling devised show about whether to have kids as a gay couple