Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tour, weekends throughout the Fringe
The Fringe’s delights are many and varied, but taking a punt on an event, especially one billed as ‘hilarious’, can be a risk. Well, not with Guru Dudu. His Silent Disco Walking Tours are the aural equivalent of taking drugs*; even if you’re knackered and a bit grumpy, you are going to have a good time once they kick in, whether you like it or not (and you will). As my dance partner put it – what amazing therapy, everyone should do it every week (*don’t do this with drugs).
In his trademark orange lycra aerobics outfit and headpiece, through which he broadcasts his infectiously upbeat Aussie-accented commentary to the groups’ headphones, Guru Dudu is impossible to miss. And indeed, the tour attracted people who came along just for the ride, without music, but still loving the dancing qnd the crowd’s caterwauling (right?! Dudu did say the headphones contained special microphones which automatically make your voice sound exactly like the artist you’re listing to when you sing out loud, while the inbuilt Google translator changes the ‘doo-do-doos’ to the real lyrics too. I trust him).
He is the show’s secret ingredient – without his daft antics and instructions (Carwash this passing rubbish truck! Serenade that couple! Unleash your inner Kate Bush all over Pavilion Gardens!) this would just be a normal silent disco, with that odd mix of enjoyment, smugness and slight embarrassment that you do look a bit of a twat dancing to music no-one else can hear. Guru Dudu’s magic is to get the whole group so uninhibited to start with that singing We Are The Champions to a pub full of stag parties feels, well, fantastically liberating. It’s a formula that’s obviously working, since Dudu has been working continuously all over the world since 2013, and has had to
triple the number of tours he offers during the Fringe, with new tour leaders and themed shows.
Ours was supposed to be a nineties tour, and it wasn’t, which was a little disappointing, especially as I didn’t know a few of the songs – I’d been looking forward to grooving to Ace of Base and Whigfield; and the sound quality through the headphones was a little unreliable, which I don’t recall from last year, and that was a shame because the concept does rather rely on total aural immersion – if the sound goes, so does the illusion that everyone is having as much fun as you are. I wonder if Guru Dudu’s success is slightly outstripping his capacity – but I can say with certainty he will catch up, and with full velocity: there’s no doubt, Guru Dudu is going to take over the world.