Creepy Boys - Edinburgh Fringe 2023
“Creepy Boys” is the latest offering from Canadian queer theatre company Scantily Glad Theatre. The website tells us: “Frustrated with the limited possibilities for queer and transgender folks within the rigid gender binaries of existing theatre landscapes, we create new work. Through self-creation, we can tell stories overlooked by Canadian theatre and create empowering queer theatre on our own terms. We aim to present intellectual and political ideas to an audience from a loving, empowering and, often silly place. We believe laughter is the best way to educate and create change.”
“Creepy Boys” invites us to a surprise thirteenth birthday party for identical twin boys - a perverted, horny, and simply hilarious affair. On arrival the audience is instantly swept up in a cavalcade of party games, sing-alongs to half-remembered angsty 2000s hits, and stories from their colourful lives. A notable party-pooper, and omnipotent voice from above, is “Sharon”, the babysitter who occasionally intervenes to stop them having too much fun. This is their twisted fantasy and today is the day they finally get everything they've ever wanted.
Real-life lovers turned identical twin boys; “Creepy Boys” is a bizarre comedy horror mashup with just a splash of the occult. The website tells us the show was created while trapped in Australia by artists Sam Kruger and Grumms. Its queer themes are dramatised through the inability for these boys to work out who they are in their pubescent state. An audience member will bare a bottom. Willem Defoe turns up, Satan is conjured; parents are absent. We play truth or dare. There is balloons, streamers, and dancing to a sexy song. Kids amusing themselves or filling a void? Loneliness and discontent beckon. It is a really hard show to describe but it’s kind of about generational existential malaise. It’s a very funny show no matter how you read it. The performers are endlessly inventive and full of beans.
Further research reveals that “Creepy Boys” is created through the virtues of Canadian Pochinko clowning, which merges the pedagogy of French clown teacher Jacques Lecoq and Canadian First Nations performance practice. These two traditions came together to form the Pochinko technique. At the core of this approach is the idea that if we can face all the directions of ourselves, North, South, East, West, Up, Down, we can only laugh – at the beauty and wonder that is in us. Well, whichever way these Creepy Boys are facing is bloody thought provoking, funny and not easily forgotten.