Double Edge’s Almost Nothing To Do With Frogs

It’s Not All Greek To Me

Rating ****

14.50-15.40, Underbelly Cowgate

Double Edge’s ‘Almost Nothing to Do with Frogs’ is a witty modern interpretation, and sometimes parody, of the Ancient Greek play ‘Frogs’ by Aristophanes. Employing the same framework of the journey to the underworld to revive great writers of the past, Double Edge successfully updates the level of humour to the 21st century.

As a piece of new writing it is, for the most part, incredibly successful. The characters of Shakespeare, Pinter and Marlow are a particularly good example of these boys’ (who we must not forget are still at school) ability to write shrewdly perceptive and comedic lines. On occasion perhaps too academic for the younger members of the audience, these moments certainly deserved more laughter than they received. Unfortunately some of the dialogue early on in the play, before they moved to the realm of the underworld, felt slightly laboured and not entirely natural – this is only a minor criticism and can surely be easily revised.

By far the most entertaining element of the play comes from the Frogs themselves. Re-imagined from Aristophanes’ chorus to become a three piece rock band, these boys still retain the chorus role so crucial to the original, playing everybody from Sir Alan Sugar to Cerberus and flight attendants to Hercules. In addition, their segments feature original music, and sometimes dancing, that are entertaining and comprise of cleverly composed lyrics.

Double Edge has produced some starring leading names in the theatre industry over the last decade or so. Their decision to collaborate with Eton College for this year’s fringe has been immensely positive, given these young and very talented boys an ample opportunity to showcase their ability on a vast stage.

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