Perki and Mann Are Spooked
Now here's a show with an identity crisis. It's listed in the theatre section, is marketed as comedy, yet half the audience are under ten. Perki and Mann really ought to decide what they want to be.
Their show, a standard Scooby-Doo style romp through haunted houses and mysterious clues, is faultlessly executed. With minimal props, just sound and light (and all credit to the technician for his precision), the duo expertly create a suspenseful, spooky atmosphere and an almost cinematic feel to their production.
But the jokes are weak and infrequent a stock of daft puns and gags you can see coming a mile off and the narrative too straightforward to engage. The comic set pieces aren't as inventive as the pair possibly imagine reawakening the spirit of Mick Jagger, for instance, or using cute puppets to act out some episodes, which is now de rigeur for these sort of ambitious semi-parodies. On the plus side, we could all do with our own Placebo Dave; a reassuring sock puppet to talk us through our fears.
Spooked would probably work best as a kids' show. It's already family friendly and youngsters can easily identify with the wide-eyed Perki, a naïve sometimes frightened idiot savant, against Mann's more grown-up persona. But there needs to be more surprises to keep even this market entertained.
As it is, the performers are assured physical comics showing
an occasional burst of inventiveness, but this mostly pedestrian
offering isn't the best vehicle for their talents.
Alexander Perkins Dates
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