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It?s A Play About A Play About A Play About A Play
Member Name: zoe_page_1
Date: 24/01/04, updated on 24/01/04 (37 review reads)
Advantages: Wickedly funny
How wonderfully useful is *this* category?!?!?
"That Play What I Wrote" - currently touring in the UK
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Do you like scary movies? Nope? Well, how about funny plays? And, the funniest play showing in Manchester at the moment is the wonderfully ungrammatical ?That Play What I Wrote?. We went to see it at the Lowry earlier this week, and I have to say, I?ve not laughed that hard in ages.
The play is novel in that every performance comes with a ?famous? guest star. In the past these have included everyone from Roger Moore to Liam Neeson to Helen Hunt and Jeff Goldblum, and I was eager to find out who ours would be. However, I was a tad disappointed, I have to say, when they brought our some random bloke from Corrie. I know a few of the cast, but he?s not one I?ve ever met, and I forgot the name almost immediately. The other three actors, Sean Foley, Hamish McColl and Toby Jones are semi-well known, the first two being a well-respected double act in real life, and the latter the voice of Dobby in Harry Potter among other things.
The play is set in the UK (or, according to other reviews, whichever country it?s being performed in), and tells the tale of a double act who aren?t doing too badly on the comedy circuit. One has higher aspirations, though, and has been writing his own plays for years. His latest is, in his own eyes anyway, a masterpiece just waiting to be signed, and with this in mind he wants to quit the double act and start getting his own stuff out there. To try and stop him, his partner comes up with all sorts of lies and stretched-truths, with varying degrees of success.
The play is in two halves, split, naturally enough, by an interval. In the first the couple argue and laugh and joke and sing, helped along at times by a third actor who plays a selection of different ch
aracters, male and, being comedy, female, depending on what part of the tale they?re at. After the break the guest star comes out, and they all put on the new play written by duo member number 2.
I?m too young to remember Morcambe and Wise, on whom a lot of the play, and the jokes themselves are based, but I still laughed non-stop for the entire performance. Knowing the duo and their style could have done nothing but make it even funnier. The comedy is a mixture of slapstick, physical humour, silly costumes and mad songs, and had the entire audience roaring in their seats ? quite a feat given the fact that I was by far the youngest person there, and my mother the second. Something that can appeal to 21 year olds and the 70 years olds making up most of the audience has to be a winner. The jokes aren?t (usually) rude, and none are obscene as Bottom can be ? they?re more current affairs / general knowledge based (one about Venus and Serena Williams for example), but general enough for most people to get.
Sit in the front row of the stalls if you fancy leaving with a rubber duck. Otherwise sit anywhere- it?s comedy so you don?t need to see their feet (the reason I prefer front row circle seats for ballets), and almost any seat in any theatre will leave you satisfied. It?s well staged, with fantastic props and scenery (especially the topiary in the garden scene), and they move around a lot too, so no-one ends up missing out. It came across as being polished, well rehearsed and perfectly timed. In comparison with the other shows I saw in the previous 7 days (Coppelia and Fosse ? I was having a bit of a theatre week) it was outstanding.
It?s not a serious show by any means. It?s humour all the way, and some of this can be childish pantomime style, but when combined with their OTT acting, dancing and singing, and intertwined with some side splitting jokes, they carry it off..
If the tour comes to a theatre near you, I?d certainly recomme
nd a trip, and I think young teenagers upwards would enjoy it. It was definitely the best £10 I?ve spent at the theatre recently.
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