Burning Down the Horse



Pleasance Dome
Queen Dome


60 mins


From £10.00

After a five-star sell-out run in 2023, Burning Down the Horse is back!

This immersive comedy epic drops you into the heart of the most iconic wooden animal in history – the Trojan Horse.

Become part of this 'infectiously funny' (FringeReview) tale as you contend with heroic egos, class clashes and sword supply issues.

There's only one rule: Odysseus' word is law. And for the love of gods – no naked flames!

Join us for an 'entertaining slice of lunchtime laughs' (Scotsman) and experience what really went on inside the belly of the beast.

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It could be said that this performance breaks the fourth wall. However, I would go one step further and say that there were never any walls to begin with (which is ironic considering the cast spend the full hour trapped and devising ways to escape the walls of the Trojan Horse).

The imagination is captured before the show even begins, with the audience being led into the theatre (/horse) by the toga-clad cast and invited to sit amongst the warriors themselves. So begins this hilariously written and fantastically performed play where reality is transcended, and all are joined together in the plight to take down Odysseus so the soldiers can return home to their chicken farms.

Despite their towering presence and glowering expressions, the warrior ensemble is soon revealed to be a loveable bandit of outcasts with endearingly corny, slapstick one-liners and a tangible chemistry. The show bears the hallmarks of a Grecian comedy, including the satire of authority and the charming fool, but achieves originality in its camp retelling of the Iliad. Simply put, Fishing 4 Chips’ performance is a delight that will be enjoyed by all who attend.

Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

The critically acclaimed Fishing 4 Chips returns to Edinburgh with another sure-fire hit.

Playfully immersive, Burning Down The Horse presents the untold story of what happened inside Epeius’ wooden structure as it trundles towards Troy. Under the leadership of a hopelessly inept Odysseus is Acamas, his second in command, who can’t decide whose side she is on, Ajax the Lesser who wishes he was greater, Echeon who has lost his sword, Epeius who has stowed away and is stirring up trouble, Anticlus who has been plotting against Odysseus for some time and the audience who definitely don’t have a clue what’s going on.

It's clear to everyone, except Odysseus, that the plan is a terrible one and we are all going to die, so, with time running quickly out, we must try anything to prevent our inevitable doom.

Burning Down The Horse is a daft, fast-paced comedy, performed with a high gag-rate and infectious enthusiasm by a young and gifted cast. Those put off by the promise of this being interactive should give it a shot, as the audience engagement is generously managed and non-invasive.

British Theatre Guide

This new six-handed, family-friendly show from comedy company Fishing 4 Chips casts its audience as the ancient Greek army. It is the end of the Trojan War and Pleasance Beneath is not a theatre, but the inside of the giant wooden horse. We are not spectators, but soldiers waiting to be wheeled inside the city, where we will spring out and slaughter everyone we find for the glory of Greece.

Except, things do not quite go to plan. Echeon has forgotten his sword. Ajax the Great might not be all that great. Stowaway carpenter Epeius is stirring up rebellion. And Odysseus is a bit of a dick. Over one hour-long scene, Fishing 4 Chips imagine what might have happened inside the Trojan Horse, weaving in plenty of puns, audience participation, and mythological mirth along the way.

It is good, infectious fun throughout. Freddie Walker is priggish and pompous as the unbearable Odysseus, Sean Wareing endearingly dopey as Echeon, and Hannah Harquart amusingly uptight as Odysseus’ right-hand Acamus. It is not exactly cutting edge comedy but it is tightly performed, the gag rate is high, and the whole thing offers an entertaining and inoffensive slice of lunchtime laughs.

The Scotsman

Way back when, centuries before Christ, a gigantic wooden horse with a beak like a duck and a fluffy tail has been taken just outside the walls of Troy. Cramped inside its womb, a hundred soldiers are waiting for instructions, and I am one of them.

To provide a bit of context for those who aren’t familiar with epic literature, the Trojan Horse is said to have been used as a ploy to end the ten-year long war between Greece and Troy. Pretending to sail back home, the Greek army hid, instead, inside the wooden animal, which the Trojans then took inside the city, thinking it was a war trophy. The rest, as they say, is history. Thanks to Fishing 4 Chips, in this show we get to see the behind the scenes of such a glorious feat and find out that perhaps it wasn’t as heroic as we’ve been told in school.

Odysseus – credited with conceiving the stratagem and confidently played by Freddie Walker – is a prick on a power trip, worshipped by the (almost always) loyal Acamus, brought to life by the magnetic Hannah Harquart. Sat right in front of me, Echeon (Sean Wareing) is desperate to go home and pursue a career in theatre. Across the room, the towering Ajax the Great (Alistair Rowley) is lying about his past, whereas Anticlus (Kathryn Pridgeon) is campaigning for unions and soldiers’ rights. Meanwhile, the carpenter Epeius (Conor Joseph) forgot to leave the horse before it was locked.

It’s a complete riot of an hour, with cast members dotted within the packed auditorium to generate a repartee that elicits surprise and laughter. A few spectators are pulled from the crowd to support the action with a playfulness that raises the roof on more than one occasion. The pace is pushed to the limit and the atmosphere is hysterical – so much so that I didn’t even dare getting my notebook out.

At one point, a plume of smoke trickles in from the head of the animal. The horse has been accidentally set on fire and the only liquid available in the confined space is what’s been collected in the waste buckets…

It’s hard to tell how much fun those who don’t know the story might have, but with no shortage of slapstick, play on words and pop culture references, tonight we all seemed to be having a hell of a time.

Everything Theatre


Burning Down the Horse


Pleasance Dome
Queen Dome

(60 mins)

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