REVIEW: Ongals: Babbling Comedy – Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh

Following on the heels of the K-Pop phenomenon, Korean comedy troupe Ongals, bring their old-school with a new twist slapstick to the Fringe after successful runs in South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia.

Clad in eye-popping toddler outfits, the rosy-cheeked, Three Stooges-haircut foursome combine magic, circus, mime, physical comedy, juggling, bell-ringing, breaking wind and beatboxing.

Intending to transcend the language barrier, the dialogue, as the show title suggests is ‘babbling’ and the child’s-eye view of the world with which it’s presented, appeals to the very youngest members of the audience. While this is an entirely laudable effort on the part of the Korean man-babies, sustaining interest in this level of full-on, fart and bum joke mayhem, throughout an hour-long performance is problematic, the kiddies are enthralled, many adults are reaching for the headache pills.

Family-friendly, Ongals put an updated slant on familiar material. Being stylistically different than much that’s on offer at the Fringe is a plus point, it provides something out of the norm, and there’s no doubt that the level of physical skill here is remarkable, but you need a high level of tolerance for silliness and stupidity, and the gibberish wears thin after a while. It harks back to another era, (despite the highly skilled beatboxing) and I’m not sure there’s an appetite in the British public for a type of performance left behind on seaside piers decades ago.

Runs until 28 August 2017 | Image: Contributed

This review was originally published by The Reviews Hub