The Amazing Drumming Monkeys (FringeTIX)
Congo & Bongo @ The Puppet Palace
6:00pm, Sun 17 Feb 2008
Well – there’s not really a lot to say about this one. After all, with a title like “The Amazing Drumming Monkeys,” you’re going to be expecting monkeys. That drum. Amazingly. And that’s pretty much what you get. Except for the Amazing bit.
Congo and Bongo, the monkeys in question, play bongos. Bet you didn’t see that twist coming! They’re inanimate plush monkey heads with puppetted arms… not marionette arms, the human-arms-inside-them type of thing. Whatever that’s called.
Congo and Bongo belt out a bunch of short, punchy, bongo driven numbers, with each song punctuated by a genuinely cute “yay!” and even cuter monkey sound effects. It’s very kid-centric in a Wiggles kinda way – lots of dancing around, friendly animal references, and catchy sing-a-longs. There’s also a bit of an environmental message, and a not-so-subtle racial harmony subtext too – edumacational!
The Puppet Palace was warm and a little humid, but certainly not as oppressive as I’d feared given the stinking hot day. There was maybe a dozen young children and (one would presume) their respective parents in attendance; the kids all seemed to love it, and more than a couple of adults got into the swing of things, too – dancing like a monkey, engaging in the bounce-around physical aspect of the show (especially the ever-smiling Louise, who ably assisted the Monkeys in their frog-jumping sideshow). Mind you, I’m damn glad that my SO decided to come along to this one; I’d have felt like a complete fucking dickhead dancing like that by myself.
“Amazing”? Not really. But if you’ve got a gaggle of youngsters, you could do a lot worse than spending a half-hour with The Monkeys.