Gilded Balloon

ScotsGay readers have no doubt already heard about this show – a troupe of attractive young men have descended upon Edinburgh in skimpy outfits with a selection of circus style ‘displays of flesh’. The result? – an entertaining evening that needs to review certain elements of its structure before being transformed into something grand.

Visiting the festival for the first time, these Australian beefcakes are an able bunch. Opening the show with a humorous boylesque routine, we are then treated to a succession of acts ranging from majestic aerial routines to plate spinning. Blah blah.

Another highlight was the selected soundtrack – a series of pumping remixes of both contemporary pop and camp classics that had me wishing the venue allowed space to dance rather than remain seated as if at a school assembly we wished we all experienced aged eitght. The work of personal heroine Roisin Murphy made an appearance in an aerial number of impressive quality and slick executions that had me mesmerized by its juxtaposition of elegance and the chiseled male form.

The central reason as to why this show can’t earn the extra stars it has the potential to acquire is the ability of the MC. Although with charm, his anecdotes are essentially unfunny, unable to sustain the audience’s interest during the lengthy interludes between the separate acts (understandably long lasting due to the set change procedures required for installing apparatus for aerial displays and the like). Were he to tighten his routine the sense of fun conjured by the various acts would flow completely through the night, rather than dipping and ascending as it did. This would ensure that the late night scheduling of the show would not affect the audience’s enjoyment  – it must be noted that some audience members did leave yawning in the brief five-minute interval given.