Hijinx and Spymonkey: The Flop


The Flop is a Hijinx production in association with physical comedy company, Spymonkey which plays Summerhall’s Main Hall as part of Edinburgh Fringe 3-26 August. Commissioned as part of Dolly Sen’s guest editorship, this review is written by Chlöe Clarke.

The cast of the Flop in oversized wigs

The Flop, A Hijinx production in association with Spymonkey. Image Credit Jonathan Dunn.

A lot of silliness, clever wordplay and some very catchy tunes makes The Flop…well, unfloppable.

Following their hugely successful international hit Meet Fred, Hijinx is back at the Edinburgh Fringe with a ridiculous romp through 1650-something France featuring an integrated cast of learning disabled and non-disabled actor/devisors.

Having attended a packed out performance at the very start of the festival, it’s no surprise that The Flop has already been featured in The Pick of the Fringe. This collaboration between Hijinx and Spymonkey results in an hysterical hour of clowning at its best that recognises and utilises the strengths of each ensemble member to their upmost.

The plot is probably slightly less important but certainly not impotent. The Marquis de Longey, however, is (or is he simply too distracted by spooning?). Unfortunately for him, impotence is illegal in pre-revolutionary France. Oops! Can he and his beloved wife Marie Saint-Simon survive the public ridicule and trial by congress that ensue?

This capable cast delight in moments of uncertainty, which are gifts to clowning, with throwaway ad libs and glances out that enrich the show in a very inviting way and forge a strong connection between performer and audience. My companion pointed out that the facial and physical expression of each performer was a highlight throughout and I thought their timing was impeccable, especially for early in the run.

With a simple but clever design and set, live music played by the cast, beautiful costumes and many, many oversized wigs, this is a delicious treat for the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and…no, I cant say it, it’s too rude.

Be prepared for some audience participation (but never in a daunting way), absolutely no fourth wall, some special effects such as smoke, bubbles and pyrotechnics and characters expressing anger and heavily dialogue-driven scenes. Every performance is relaxed.

This show must come with a warning: be prepared to have the songs stuck in your head for at least two weeks afterwards.