Francisco Vita (aka Kiki) is one half of the Barcelona based duo Las Cossas Nostra, known for their mix of physical theatre, comedy, clown and circus. Francesco and Amelia Cadwallader have toured the world with their work as well as performing on streets and stage. This year, they bring Kiki’s solo show, Grumpy Pants, to Edinburgh’s Free Fringe.
Playful accordion sounds waltz and skip in the space of the Free Sisters’ cavernous Gothic Room as the family audience takes their seat. On stage, Kiki’s props of metal hoops, glasses of blue liquid, a hat on a pole, and some blue balls silently intrigue.
In no time, this madcap guy who’s dressed like a punkish matador, has the audience on board thanks to his own comic brand of participation encouragement, with the signal to cheer louder paradoxically given by a gentle flurry of confetti. Capitalising on his elastic facial expressions and signature gestures (no spoilers!), he is a delightful blend of cheekiness with a pinch of naughtiness that appeals right across the spectrum of ages.
Like any good clown, his use of speech is minimal as he lets his consummate juggling, balancing skills and comic physicality do the talking. The entire act, that includes a kind of William Tell tribute with a fork, is accompanied throughout by a variety of music including Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs 60s hit, Woolly Bully.
Kiki uses some small valises with perfectly syncopated sounds in his act and their presence holds poignancy as a suitcase containing his props was lost by a certain British airline on his way over. If this is the standard of performance he can produce after such misfortune, what can he do with a full set of props? Go along and find out!
Everyone knows there’s no such thing as a free lunch and there’s also no such thing as a free Fringe show. Acts appearing there, like street performers, are making a living (or trying to) by using their well-honed skills. The bucket at door still offers great value for this quality family show that provides 45 minutes of fun packed family entertainment without a trace of grumpiness. In the words of a young companion Grumpy Pants is “spectacular fun!”.
Runs from 1-25 August at 11am at Free Sisters Gothic Room in Cowgate
Suggested age is 3+