REVIEW: Yeti’s Demon Dive Bar @ Fringe

Words by: Freya Hall

I expected something from Yeti’s Demon Dive Bar, simply because it was birthed from the same minds as the renowned EastEnd Cabaret. However, I must admit that this show was not spectacular.

Although the Fringe bio for this show lists The Mighty Boosh as an influence, it came across to me as being too literally applied. The character of the Yeti is overly-amorous, sleazy, and has a mop hairdo – very reminiscent of the popular Mighty Boosh character, Old Gregg. The floating head character was also reminiscent in aesthetics and personality to that of Tony Harrison, also from The Mighty Boosh. The psychedelic nun characters also shared stark similarities with the character of Naboo the Enigma from The Mighty Boosh.

It concerned me that the line between appropriation and appreciation was blurred here with no apparent acknowledgment in the show. Further, there appeared to be no substantial expansion upon this appropriated theme or style. Yeti’s Demon Dive Bar was basically just a reworking of the same characters with added slapstick. I hate slapstick.

I must concede that despite these flaws the performers in this show were immensely talented. Their song writing was impressive and they were able to transport the audience on a journey (‘through time and space’?) through a nonsensical universe that, with credit to their storytelling ability, was comprehensible.

Maybe it was the irksome feeling that I had seen this show before; maybe it was the slapstick making me wince, or maybe I was tired…whatever it was, I know for certain this was not one of my favourite shows from Fringe 2016. I must confess that a lot of the audience seemed to adore it, so if you are into surrealist comedy and slapstick maybe ignore everything I just said. Your last opportunity to see the show is tonight!