The strangest things in life always seem to go down in a Spiegeltent. Clown and performance duo Bait add to this tradition with Kill the Princess, a show likely to leave many audience members scratching their heads. It is confusing and strange, but in a wonderful way. Kill the Princess is fuelled by potent subversion, simmering away beneath the surface of comedy and eccentrism.
Lizzy Shakespeare and Michelle Madsen are clearly born for performances like this. They are phenomenal together, causing their audience to break out into ripples of sniggers with just the slightest funny look or sound. Bait constantly have the crowd second guessing their every move, this unpredictability and zaniness forming the secret behind the show’s success. They bring the most outlandish versions of themselves to the stage in a set that has you grinning away for a dozen different reasons at once.
This foolishness and play is not without purpose. Throughout the show – right from the moment where a piece of fruit gets put somewhere it really doesn’t belong – there is a hilarious but meaningful poke at gender. As the show progresses, it becomes clearer that Bait have set out to have a mocking look at the typical fairy tale stories passed down from parent to child. They present their own warped upheaval of this narrative in a gloriously expressive way. The show’s mantra is easy to get on board with, especially when it is paired with such outlandishness buffoonery.
Bait admit themselves that the audience might not be following what’s happening. Indeed the crowd do often look a bit lost during the show, taking away from moments that could get a much bigger reaction than they otherwise do. It is not always clear whether Kill the Princess is sketch comedy or one continuous story, instead feeling like a murky mixture of both. It is hardly surprising that some in the crowd are left dazed and confused by the show’s structure, but Bait are funny enough to pull this show through to the other side. With variety, comedy and even a sliver of poignancy, Kill the Princess is a clowning experience that you will be left thinking (and smiling) about for some time.