I feel like Puddles' show is everything that the Edinburgh Fringe is about. It's a little bit different. It's a little bit odd. It makes people a little bit awkward. It's incredible. Nothing can, or will (short of watching the clips on his Youtube Channel) prepare you for the visual and auditory feast that you will indulge in when you see this show. It's an hour of humour, great songs, and perfect mime. Which is odd, because I know that mime acts don't usually sing, but silence - punctuated with belting tunes, in a simultaneously sweet, mellow, and mournful baritone – is the recipe for a hilarious show. Add in a little bit of audience humili- I mean, participation and you have yourself one of the best shows of Edinburgh 2015.
I touched on the concept earlier, but I shall elaborate while trying to eliminate as many spoilers as I can. Puddles is a clown, a sad clown, that still does birthday parties. He has balloons, party hats, those weird little streamers that you blow into and it makes a high-pitch "thbbbbbt" sound (They have a name, I just can't find out what the name is), and sings "Happy Birthday" (among other numbers), and chews a ridiculously huge amount of gum. Okay, so your standard clown bar the last bit! The singing is the part of this show that is most unexpected. The first 10 minutes of the show are done in complete silence, with Puddles setting up and doing mime, with a little bit of audience interaction thrown in for good measure. Then he starts to sing Happy Birthday to his first party boy or girl and the audience is stunned into silence – and then encouraged to join in. No words can prepare you for the power of sound that leaves this clown's mouth. From that point the audience is hypnotised by his voice, and brought back into the room by the shocking silence that follows.
I've seen a lot of clever shows at the Fringe this year, but it's safe to say that this one takes the cake – which would probably make the party much sadder than it was before. The venue let this show down, with its uncomfortable wooden benches, and rattling doors. It was undeserving of this perfect show.
Puddles Pity Party is performing every day until the 31st August at the Assembly George Square Gardens. Tickets and more information is available on the Fringe website.