Lurking in the Caves up the road in the ironically named Salvation Room after the Cowgatehead debacle, taking in several strays, Just The Tonic have managed to land something special in nutty sketch duo LetLuce (Letty Butler and Lucy Pearman).
It’s a free show, although audience numbers aren’t substantial, there’s enough to make the room not feel too empty. The Seaman: A Naval Tale launches into a storm as the ‘Captain’ (Butler) swings frantically around the mast like a drunken pole dance, it triggers laughter from all, as the Captain pulls on a rope and from the back of the room slowly enters the Captain’s catch, a fish (Pearman) that by the looks of it evolution took a somewhat left turn. The decibel level of laughter ascends substantially and the tone of the show is set and the audience all appear on board with it. The Captain and fish find mutual ground to go on a quest, to Boy’R’Us to find love and a potion to forget.
The journey allows for meeting several equally meet several characters such as Ringleader Ian McShane, rapping Caribbean crabs and Ronan Keaton resident DJ. Many of the costumes arouse fits of laughter but they are supported by great performances and good funny writing. As a first show there are some hiccups, forgotten props or broken props even but it’s barely a blemish and if anything only adds to the chortling.
For a narrative geared towards being full on eccentric, there’s a wonderful warmth and heart to the show, which would often be missing from shows of this ilk, it’s a nice touch. This is just shy from being in my list of all time favourite Fringe shows. LetLuce set the bar very high but some set plays don’t quite consistently stay as high, not that there are lulls, but it’s the only black mark against what makes Seaman: A Naval Tale exceptional. Comparisons to Mighty Boosh are probably a likable affair for LetLuce, but on this evidence they offer a notch extra. Wonderful off the wall genius, a must see for anyone of a silly persuasion.
****(and a half)