Surprisingly, in a show about a 17th-century French aristo trying to prove he doesn't have "a floppy willy", the plot isn't even the maddest part. Best described as Carry On meets Blackadder meets Summerhall, this carnivalesque hour delivered by a polished cast is full of music and mayhem.
The story centres on posh bimbos and a newly-married pair, the Marquis De Longey and his wife Marie. For four years they've been living in wedded bliss surrounded by an eccentric group of semi-trusty retainers, let by David the valet. But all is not well: there's been a lot of "flicking", "spooning", "flopping" and "clamping", but alas no actual "rumpy pumpy". Enter Marie's family, who are not impressed that there's no baby, and kick-start court proceedings against De Longey… leading to his "trial by congress", which really is as bad as it sounds.
Amongst a talented cast, Jess Mabel Jones as Marie steals the show, with her posh perkiness and surreal inability to grasp what's going on around her. Highlights include Jones's frantic gasps in response to someone saying "there's no heir", and the scene of the trial by congress set to music by a Wings-era Paul McCartney.
There's some great singing from the performers, with a double bass and accordion thrown in for good measure. The fourth wall absolutely doesn't exist in this production and the audience should expect some participation.
If you don't do surreal comedy – for example giant hedgehogs wandering onto the stage for no particular reason – this is probably not for you. It's also not going to win awards for the complexity of the plot, but that isn't the point of The Flop. I found it charming, lively and very funny.
A riotous, cheeky and delightfully chaotic show that will have you laughing from start to finish. Who knew divorce and a song about vaginas could be so funny?