I came to see this show at last year’s Fringe and fell in love with it. I was keen to see if my memory of the play was accurate or if those rose-tinted glasses had set in… I’m pleased to say it was just as funny as I remember!
The Defectors were formed in 2022 and debuted their first show Defective Inspector at last year’s Camden Fringe. Harrison Cole (writer and performer) delights again with this puns-galore crime caper. Starring as Richard P. Cooper, our hapless and delusional detective, he narrates (at great length) his toughest case alongside a chaotic duo: two hapless drama students who need the work experience – to fill in the jobs of the 20 actors he was sure he had asked for! This is hilariously portrayed by Daniel Hemsley and Francesca Eldred; will Dick find the would-be assassin in time for the election or get distracted by literally anything that comes his way?
A simple black box room is turned into a range of delightful settings with clever use of signs, ducking, and wonderfully over-the-top accents. This is Johnny English meets The Play That Goes Wrong; it’s an utterly endearing romp through the clichés of crime drama.
You cannot help but smile and giggle along with the sheer volume of double entendres, dad jokes, and unnecessarily verbose explanations.
Defective Inspector is irreverent and irresistible.
It’s rare to get a double bill in on one evening but luckily Camden Fringe has this option.
The second part is Defective Inspector: Stitch in Time.
No timeline is too sacred, and no sci-fi reference is too far-fetched, when Richard P. Cooper tires of his crime writing ‘career’, he takes on the more lucrative Sci-fi genre.
A new cast member (Ellie Church) joins our troupe with the return of our favourite characters and related puns – mark my words (you’ll laugh at that later). Richard P. Cooper must use every slow-motion waving arm dance to move through the time tangle and stop Mr. Fluffington’s evil schemes!
The whole audience is in stitches throughout this second instalment. With snappy, pun-tastic scripts, and the wonderful silliness of costume and prop mishaps, it’s a play that refuses to take itself seriously. Hemsley’s cockney cyborg sidekick is a particular highlight.
The title of this winner of Theatre 503’s 2023 International Playwriting Award by Roxy Cook may seem like the set-up to a joke, but the narrative that unspools is instead an affectionate, gently barbed and at base quite sobering portrait of three ordinary souls (and one restless feline) adrift in modern Moscow. There is much affable, satirical back-and-forth commentary on the accepted myths & stereotypes of the Russian spirit & soul. Beset by the indignities of age, opportunism, graft, fatigue, the characters orbit one another, doomed to play out their roles in an unjust, predatory and saturnine universe. The play opens … More A WOMAN WALKS INTO A BANK – REVIEW – THEATRE503
Peter Pan Goes Wrong first premiered in London at the Pleasance Theatre in 2013, and earlier this year the show made its Broadway debut. Now the production is back in the West End for the Christmas season. Following on from The Play That Goes Wrong, in this production, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is staged by the fictitious Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society and goes awry, disastrously so. The meta-comedy is filled with slapstick comedy, sometimes the humour may be predictable and silly, but it’s universally funny throughout – there is something for everyone here, and the laughs come thick and fast … More PETER PAN GOES WRONG – REVIEW – LYRIC THEATRE
Drawing heavily from the classic canon of the British supernatural, High Tide’s trio of contemporary Gothic narratives uses traditional storytelling formats to address contemporary themes. Directed by Elayce Ismail, reverent musical interludes accompany tales of apparitions and nighttime conjurings that speak of women from the East of England. Unfortunately, the effect is less chilling and more lightweight, with conventional structures, predictable plot twists and an over-reliance on external forces to drive narrative shoring up some of the less relatable aspects of the genre. Nicola Werenowska’s The Beach House, perhaps the cleanest of the three tales, tells of a mother and … More GHOST STORIES BY CANDLELIGHT – REVIEW – SAM WANAMAKER PLAYHOUSE
Drum roll please…(Cue a literal drum rolling across the stage.) The Lyric pantomime is one of traditions with the return of many well-loved jokes and skits. Costumes and sets are all made at the Lyric itself by Good Teeth, with set pieces being reused year on year. This year Cinderella gets the Hammersmith makeover, with some success. The costuming is fun and vibrant, with the ugly stepsisters’ equine pyjamas and hoop-skirted ball gowns giving all the wrong kinds of extra you need for those characters. Cinderella’s on stage dress transformation is magical and really well-timed. The Dame, Lady Jelly-Bottom’s, outfits … More CINDERELLA – REVIEW – LYRIC HAMMERSMITH
Amy catches up with Linus Karp ahead of his performance of Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story, at London’s Clapham Grand. Linus and Joseph of Awkward Productions are also the masterminds behind the new show Gwyneth Goes Skiing. Hello Your Majesty/ Candle Entrepreneur, how are you feeling coming back from a hugely successful fringe and triumphant tour across your kingdom, ahead of performing in front of 700 of your loyal subjects, and before (the list never ends!) opening a brand new show, which has recently gone viral? Exhausted, exhilarated and alive. We’ve had the most ridiculous year – I feel … More INTERVIEW – LINUS KARP – DIANA: THE UNTOLD AND UNTRUE STORY