EdFringe 2022 Review: Blunderland

You know the Fringe is in town when Edinburgh becomes packed with circus tents and dating apps become packed with slightly more appeal than the usual months. The first of our cabaret and circus experiences this season is NYC-originating absurdist circus Blunderland, making its home in Underbelly’s Circus Hub in The Meadows. The show provides a number of punky, attitude filled pieces lead by ‘psychedelic sex clown’ Eric Schmalenberger, who presides of a night of high-energy cheekiness.

Blunderland features an array of acts ranging from musical comedy, hula hooping, burlesque, skits, and general subversive naughtiness. There’s an element of edge to Blunderland – it’s a little rough around the edges, scrappy but continually impressive.

Among the cast of Blunderland are Bede Nash. The handsome star gets stuck into a variety of routines including an impressive hula hoop number, dazzling with five hoops. Bede also takes to the stage for an impressive hand-balancing act – as well as joining in routines with Themme Fatale and Leopold Pentland  with the trio shining in a high-octane sexually charged construction number.

Leopold Pentland contributes a number of dazzling trapeze routines and aerial stunts, as does Themme Fatale who impresses with a fiery charm. There’s a messy comedy from Tara Boom who delivers a toilet based comedy routine, pulling out foreign objects from herself and then reinserting into other orifices. That sentence and visual should indicate to you that this is not your typical family friendly circus show. Further comedy comes from Olivia Porter who gets some solid laughs as part of her injury-prone acrobat routine. Throw into the mix some flame-driven burlesque with garments literally burned off and you have an eclectic selection of some truly shocking and spectacular routines.

Our host Eric Schmalenberger arrives with a deadpan wit and calm yet amusingly over-it routine that lands a lot of laughs. The MC does not leave all the heavy lifting to his fellow Blunderland cast, adorning a giant glittered translucent condom to serenade the audience with a beautifully uncomfortable nude music number.

Blunderland is punky, raunchy high-energy circus. Not for the easily shocked, this act born out of the NYC night club scene is delightfully raucous mayhem.

You can experience the wonders of Blunderland at the Underbelly’s Circus Hub this Edinburgh Fringe. Get tickets here.

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