“a wildly inventive and entirely unique performance that had the audience howling with laughter”

by by Greg Stewart published the 10/08/2023

They were the breakout Fringe hit of 2019 with Fishbowl, and now Pierre Guillois and Olivier Martin-Salvan are back in Edinburgh with a new Molière Award winning comedy fit for the climate crisis era. Ice Hole: A Cardboard Comedy marks the return of these masters of physical comedy.

A lone fisherman on a frozen Icelandic lake comes across a beautiful mermaid and falls in love, but when ‘Serena’ is chased away by a whale, our fisherman embarks on a round the world adventure to find her.

The fisherman however, never actually leaves his stool; the world he explores, including a stop in a very weather appropriate Scotland is constructed around him, and entirely from cardboard.  Sets, props, characters and even thoughts appear in cardboard form, and it’s all absolutely hilarious

t’s difficult to describe in words, which is fitting given that very little English is actually spoken during the performance, what a technical and logistical feat of stagecraft Ice Hole actually is.  Cardboard appears and disappears at an alarming rate, often transforming from one object to another like magic.

While Olivier Martin-Salvan remains seated, Pierre Guillois barely stands still; dashing around the stage for the entirety. In an extraordinary display of physical comedy Guillois embodies the people, places, animals, and even the weather of the various places our fisherman visits.

Look a little deeper beneath the surface and you’ll find themes around our throw-away society and the notion that the hero of the story isn’t necessarily a good person.  Ice Hole: A Cardboard Comedy is a wildly inventive and entirely unique performance that had the audience howling with laughter, cheering with amazement, and crying out for more.