EDINBURGH 2023: Review: MY LAST TWO BRAIN CELLS, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, Nip

A comedic masterpiece with a strong story, hilarious jokes, and a bittersweet ending that still manages to be funny.

By: Aug. 15, 2023
Edinburgh Festival
EDINBURGH 2023: Review: MY LAST TWO BRAIN CELLS, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, Nip
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EDINBURGH 2023: Review: MY LAST TWO BRAIN CELLS, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, Nip

When you step into Nip at the Gilded Balloon, you are greeted by a very official-looking man holding a clipboard. He welcomes you into the space, handing you a nametag with the word “hormone” written on it. You are now a hormone, ready to go on a tour of Gary Kane’s brain, led by Brain Cell #64,928,460,784, Head of Logistical Reasoning at Temporal Lobe, Inc. (Joe Pike).

But, within minutes, the chaos begins as Brain Cell #12. Head of the Immaturity Department (Tom Hazelden) arrives and decides he’s going to help run the tour. It’s clear that the two have some kind of past and there is strong tension between the pair that makes for some fun dynamics throughout the show.

From the second they begin interacting, the jokes are flying a mile a minute, with more outrageous jokes from #12 and subtler ones from #64,928,460,784 (also known as Clive). The two begin bickering and trying to win the audience over in their own way, with Clive desperately trying to keep the tour on track and #12 doing everything in his power to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Suddenly, alarms start blaring, and disaster strikes - Gary is dying, the rest of the brain cells have evacuated, and only #12 and Clive are left, leaving them to try to save Gary. They are, literally, the last two brain cells, and God help Gary if these are the two who are meant to save him. They are assisted by “Cerebra,” a Siri-like kind of programming within Gary, but she’s not exactly the most helpful AI.

Pike and Hazelden are incredibly in sync (literally, they have an entire scene where they’re speaking at the same time and it’s done perfectly). It’s such a delight to see the two of them perform together as they are clearly enjoying themselves, but still manage to make an emotional impact by the end. There is also a hilarious bodyswap scene that allows the pair to show off that they are each fully capable of taking on each other’s roles. It’s strange seeing Hazelden as the serious one with glasses and Pike as the one making sex jokes and messing around, but strange in the best possible way. 

And, even after the show has ended, there is still more! Each night, a “Spoilers Without Context” meme is posted on the show’s social media, a special inside joke for everyone who saw that night’s performance. I’ve been having fun going through the different performance spoilers, trying to guess what they mean, but to no avail.

Ultimately, My Last Two Brain Cells has been my favourite show of the Fringe. It is truly a comedic masterpiece with a strong story, hilarious jokes, and, somehow, a bittersweet ending that still manages to be funny. I cannot recommend it enough! 

My Last Two Brain Cells runs at Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, Nip at 21:40 from 15 to 27 August.




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