A couple of years ago my son watched a couple of episodes of Fawlty Towers and fell about laughing, he was physically crying with laughter. Not at the orated jokes but at the slapstick, on a 4 year olds level everything about it appealed to him. So when we got invited along to see Signor Baffo at the Fringe I couldn’t wait to tell him. We’d heard that Signor Baffo was a children’s version of Fawlty Towers, full of slapstick and silliness and I knew it would be right up his and his little brothers street.
We were led down to the makeshift theatre room in the Principal George Hotel by Signor Baffo himself. He’d been entertaining the children on his invisible bike (with real handlebars) in the waiting room for a few minutes before and they all merrily chased him shrieking with laughter when it was show time. The children were all settled on big floor cushions when we arrived in the room and my 2 had managed to bag themselves front row. From the off Signor Baffo had the children giggling and encouraging him to do silly things. Even basic jokes like answering the banana instead of the yellow phone had the young kids rolling around.
His interaction with the children was as funny for me as the visual jokes. Although there were a couple of mouthy know-it-all’s in the crowd he handled them well and his energy and enthusiasm never faltered. Much hilarity ensued over the 45 minutes and I’m sure much laughter could be heard throughout the lower levels of the Principal. From putting a helmet on a sausage (yes, it was a children’s show) so it could perform a ‘sausage roll’ down a boys arm, to a somewhat crazy version of meatball tennis across a giant spaghetti net (which the children all joined in with), everything about the show was geared towards his young audience and was totally on their level.
There was the obligatory pie in Signor Baffo’s face to many screams of delight a couple of times. The one thing I did cringe a little at was the egg smashing. Still funny for the kids and I know they’re just eggs, but a box of totally good food destroyed daily for laughs makes me a little uneasy, for all I know they were maybe off though – hopefully.
After the show we were all invited back to the waiting room to sample Signor Baffo’s pancakes. This wasn’t just a fob you off one pancake per child job, this was monumental catering. Cue more shrieks as the children ran into the room and spied not only the huge pile of pancakes but also bowlfuls of cream, chocolate spread, marshmallows and chocolate drops. The children (and plenty of the adults) helped themselves and the adults were also over the moon with all their free coffee. As an extra bonus there were stick on moustaches a la Baffo stylee handed out, my boys lasted all of 30 seconds with theirs on before they were relegated to my arm as pet caterpillars for the day.
Great show. Great food. Happy children. Happy parents. A brilliant end of school holiday treat for my boys. Thank you Signor Baffo!
You can join in the fun at Signor Baffo’s restaurant daily till Monday 27th August. The show starts at 11am but get there early to enjoy the pre-show madness. Venue 119, Principal Edinburgh, George Street Hotel, 19-21 George Street EH2 2PB.