The Hamiltons: High-Jinks with the Hamiltons!
The notorious Hamiltons returned to Edinburgh with the pop of a champagne cork (no surprise there!) and a flourish of lighting effects. Despite the show starting half an hour late and the audience having been stuck outside in the rain (welcome to Edinburgh!), spirits seemed to be high – and I’m not just referring to the gin coursing through Christine’s veins. The pre-set for the show had a vaguely nautical theme to it and included a slideshow of hilarious images of the pair, who then appeared from inside a black box in a sort of camp-magic sort of way. There were some minor technical issues with microphones and Christine’s clashing pink and orange attire was verging on visually offensive, but other than that the show seemed to run pretty smoothly. Whether it was intentional or not however, the couple used clipboards to keep a track of who their guests were which I felt distanced them from more professional chat-show hosts and distracted from the hilarity at times.
The biggest downside to the show was that the bonkers Christine seemed to hugely overshadow a rather reserved Neil, almost preventing him from ever being involved – I felt that the elderly couple sitting in front of me who occasionally nattered about this and that (rude!) talked more than one of the stars of the show – it is clear that Christine wears the trousers, but I only wish a better balance had been created between the two performers. The brilliance of a chat-show such as this is that each performance will bring different guests and therefore a different atmosphere and quality to the overall experience. Admittedly, this makes my job as a reviewer challenging due to the fact that one show could be side-splittingly hilarious throughout and therefore in five-star territory but the next day could be awful.
Nonetheless, this is a light-hearted fun show with some hilarious moments and an unexpected full audience participation ending. The Hamiltons are like Marmite – you either hate them to the point of fabricating rape allegations, or you embrace their ridiculousness and pay £11 to see them here at the Fringe – for what it’s worth I would rather opt for the latter…I can’t be done with the paperwork and legal fees.