Edinburgh Review: I Do, Do I, Summerhall

i do do iAs we come into the Demonstration Room, Greg Sinclair has a box on his head. He has been instructed to do so by a group of children.

The 11am performance slot at the Edinburgh Fringe is synonymous with work for children, with baby-burdened early risers often having to endure low quality dross before they’ve had a chance to have so much as a cup of coffee. That certainly isn’t the case here. I Do, Do I is a nuanced and fantastically silly piece of work, but I wonder whether it is really suitable for younger audiences.

I Do, Do I is not a piece of theatre compelled to resort to cheap tricks to make an impact. It is simply a series of Fluxus-inspired musical scores written by children and performed with impish glee by Sinclair. He has worked with pupils from Canal View Primary School in Edinburgh and as we hear their voices over the speaker system, like some unruly gods, it becomes clear that their instructions are forming the bulk of his performance.

There is a quiet conviction and absolutely sincerity in what Sinclair is doing and the piece brilliantly debunks the pomp and pretension which so often surrounds the performance of classical music. There is a feeling, though, that it might be too clever for its own good.

The suggested age group for I Do, Do I is 8+. On the morning I saw it there was a child in the audience who was no older than six. With a child so young in the audience you get a real sense of where the material engages and where it falls flat and while adult audiences can tolerate a little sluggishness, children are rather less forgiving. Although the child was clearly younger than the intended age for the piece it suggests that although this a piece made with children, it is not necessarily made for them.

I Do, Do I is at Summerhall (Venue 26) until 24 August. For more information and tickets go to the Edinburgh Fringe website.