1997’s Men In Black was a solid bit of comedy science-fiction. It was just about original enough to be quirky and entertaining, yet had plenty of mainstream appeal thanks to superb casting and some solid action sequences. Edinburgh Fringe show BAD Clowns: Invasion has a similar premise, but being a stage show, few of the same advantages. However it is fast, silly, funny and incredibly dumb.
The premise of the show is that the titular BAD Clowns are agents of the Bureau for Alien Defence, dedicated to protecting the world from all sorts of alien threats but namely a creature known as Pax, a mind controlling parasite that could be anyone, including the audience. Some hilarious incompetence traps Agents Sam, Christian and Special Agent J-One in a single room with a countdown and only a stream of terrible puns, physical comedy and audience interaction can save them.
The BAD Clown team do very well with some nice custom props and quite a lot of improv; this is slapstick humour with a sci-fi twist and the characters are selfish and dumb in such a way that you don’t feel bad about laughing when they fall flat onto their face.
This is sci-fi comedy for those who like their jokes to be physical and the humour to be obvious. This is a show of barely controlled anarchy, likely to appeal to fans of both sci-fi and tv sitcoms such as Bottom and The Young Ones. This is silly, bawdy, sci-fi fun. It is a little one-note in approach, and that’s the point; leave your brain at the door and don’t think about the plot too much.
It does rely firmly on it’s audience, the more energy from the crowd the stronger the show gets and because one of the major plot points is that the alien invader could be anyone then you should be prepared for plenty of audience participation. All in all, a great bit of fringe fun.