Picture this – you’re a parent out in Edinburgh with the kids for a few hours. You wanna catch a couple of shows that entertain both you & them – while seeing a bit of Edinburgh in between. Well, The Mumble has just found the perfect combo; Signor Baffo’s Restaurant at the Principal Hotel in the New Town at 11:00, followed by Fun Kids Radio’s Epic Roadshow Adventure at Bristo Square at 13.00. The beauty is, at the end of Signor Baffo’s show, everybody gets complimentary pancakes & drinks to fuel the wee hike across the Old Town to Bristo Square.
The shows themselves are full of energy, laughter & lots of audience participation. The technicolourful Signor Baffo is aimed at a slightly younger audience, who all sit cross-legged at the front, but everybody gets swept along by the sweet silliness of Signor Baffo’s attempt to become a proper cook in the absence of the boss, Signor Figaro. While the cat is away & all that. While watching, I recalled an ancient Tamil proverb which compares the sounds of giggling children to flutes, & listening to the symphonic laughter of the children became, for me, an integral part of the show. Dodgy puns & punchlines abound, but done so well its difficult for an adult not to laugh anyway, & the language-burgeoning kids are absolutely delighted with the gags, the action & the messy kitchen Baffo creates.
A wee wander across town later, on an increasingly damp Sunday, my family & I found ourselves at the grand old Medical College by Bristo Square for Fun Kids. Also in attendance was an American family who’d chosen the exact same passage as ourselves, & we happily shared thoughts on how excellent Signor Baffo had been, like a live version of Pixar’s Ratatouille. It was then time to enter the next show, a different affair in which the slightly older kids were led voluntarily onto the stage one by one – with a couple of parents as well – to aid our hosts’ mission. This was to save their radio show from the axe & involved a series of madcap games delivered with perfectly pitched ebullience by Bex Lindsay & Dan Simpson. The show is based on fact, actually, for Fun Kids is a real show on a real station, but given a twist for the stage. Cue the kids (& the parents) shouting out ‘BOTTOM’ at the tops of their voices, animal impersonations, dancing, karaoke, &, well, you get the picture – the variety rotates at breakneck speed.
I cannot recommend this wee sequence enough, both of which, in the scheme of things, are excellent 4 Star Shows & worth checking out in their own right. Perfectly timed & perfectly spaced for a full Edinburgh experience, Signor Baffo & Fun Kids are just what the doctor ordered for a family day out. By the time you take your leave of Fun Kids, clutching bags full of stuff handed out by Bex for later playtimes, its 14.30, with plenty of time left in the day to experience all the myriad other aspects of Edinburgh during the Fringe. Enjoy!!
The Principal Hotel
Aug 14-19, 21-27 (11:00)
Underbelly, Bristo Square – The Dairy Room
Aug 14-27 (13:15)