Review: An(dre)a Spisto: El Dizzy Beast

A soaring exploration of a punk metamorphosis

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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El Dizzy Beast
Photo by Hector Manchego
Published 23 Aug 2023

The life cycle of a butterfly is ripe matter for a probe into queerness – transformation and regeneration into a more beautiful, more alien being are parallel narratives for the two. An(dre)a Spisto brilliantly uses this concept to create a show about El Dizzy Beast, a teenage caterpillar who’s into sleeping in cocoons on the couch while eating bags of salad (“Don’t judge me!”) and singing karaoke 90s pop-punk.

Spisto is a regular at the Fringe, having been part of three different shows and monologues over the past few years. There is an assuredness to their performance that comes with this experience as they create an inviting stage presence which seeks to get the crowd involved. Audience participation is a big part of the show but it doesn’t slow El Dizzy Beast down; a particularly funny skit involves an audience member playing an employee at the 90s notalgia linchpin Blockbuster. 

El Dizzy Beast may perhaps not be a nimble and tight show, but in its scrappiness and punkiness it creates a genuinely heartwarming and original evening with plenty of laughs and reasons to rock out. Being a hairy caterpillar that will someday digest itself into a mass of hormones before becoming a butterfly for only two-to-four weeks has never seemed so good.