A sweet novelty that's worth a quick taste
One of the Edinburgh Fringe’s quirkier aspects is site-specific productions like The Fudge Shop, performed in The Fudge Kitchen’s Royal Mile outlet after the shop closes for the night.
The brainchild of stand-up and occasional employee of the chain, Patch Hyde, this slight but enjoyable comic playlet also calls upon the apron-sporting talents of Toby Williams, Tony Dunn and Dave Gibson, appealing with more than the free samples. Following a confounding selection process, Hyde finally becomes the new employee of Williams’ failing fudge business, joining the inappropriate Gibson and the idiotic Dunn in their time-passing parlour games, alongside the latter’s desperate efforts to chat up his flatmate. With just two flavours, and one of those out of stock, the shop is being trounced by Williams’ former business partner and rival shop owner, the “evil character” Donald. Swapping wigs, hats and assorted paraphernalia to play their customers, the four indulge themselves in knockabout tomfoolery, perpetually breaking the fourth wall and hamming it up at almost every opportunity. The story is instantly forgettable but more damningly, and notwithstanding the free confectionary, the location itself is underused – this could be happening anywhere. The laughs are chiefly derived from the interplay of the exaggerated performances – Hyde, all wide-eyed and misguided optimism; Dunn, vacant as himself, dastardly as Donald; Gibson, showily arrogant, with so little to be arrogant about; and Williams, the de facto boss with absolutely no business acumen or skill for making fudge. A sweet little novelty then, worth a quick taste. Three stars The Fudge Shop is on t the Fudge Kitchen at 8.45pm. Review written by Jay Richardson