Ian Shuttleworth’s review of Taboo featuring Pink & Squeezy conceived by Dexter Augustus, August 1992
Gimmicks, gimmicks, gimmicks. Everyone needs gimmicks to get their show noticed among the 1100 here on the Fringe… and just about everyone has one. It might just be a good review blurb on their leaflet… “Nominated for the Independent Award,” said a bloke thrusting a leaflet into my hand; odd that – I’m on the panel. It had just met and we’d never heard of it. Other enticements are more grandiose: free sachets of Angel Delight, or a complimentary tab at the bar. In fact, a number of shows are now serving wine from the stage as part of the show (what do they take us reviewers for, eh?).
But by far the biggest scam of this year’s Fringe has been perpetrated by press agent Mark Borkowski. (Never trust a man who calls his company Improperganda Ltd.) Taboo, allegedly presented by Pink & Squeezy, is presented in a private house; admission is free, but the audience is vetted by phone before being told the location. At least, so the story goes. At the press performance, we had to sign waivers certifying that we had “disabled our critical faculties” by consuming at least two free beers before being let indoors. We were also given �10 bribes; well, critics have got to pay less than the public, and if it’s free to the public… The performance itself consisted of an escalating domestic dispute, culminating in a game of Taboo (the “get your team to guess word A, without using words B, C or D” game) played by the audience as teams. (Charles Spencer of the Daily Telegraph proved particularly adept.) Then off we reeled, clutching even more free beers. A great way to pass an afternoon, but it bears as much relation to theatre as some pigs in a field. Borkowski knows it, and (without Archaos to play with this year) is just getting his Edinburgh jollies. If I meet a genuine punter who’s seen it, I’ll eat my spiral-bound notebook
City Limits magazine