Pleasance Courtyard

Pleasance Courtyard

Slaughterhouse Live: TV Spazzatura

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

Review

This is a tough one. Slaughterhouse Live is so far off being my cup of tea that never has it been more appropriate to mangle Voltaire's 'I disagree with what you say, but I defend to the hilt your right to say it' and apply it to comedy. I was the only person for whom it was a buttock-clenching hour. The crowd of 60 loved every second and would have stayed for more.

This is a troupe of talented comic actors and musicians who can squeeze every ounce from a gag and by sheer force of will make the audience enjoy it. This year's show has a video projector to support the notion that this is a broadcast of the Spazzatura TV Roadshow, brought to you by Attention Deficit HyperactivityTV. It was extraordinary to feel the audience rapport right from the start, they didn't need to be won over ­ I can only assume there's an enormous fan base for these guys.

Despite the new technology allowing them to show snippets of porn (with special signing for hearing impaired) and a queasy shot of a fat hairy arse and dangly testicles, on the screen for far too long, this show has roots in music hall tradition and silent movie gurning. Wonky wigs and fake moustaches, joke teeth, overstuffed trousers, red noses ­ they're all there like a big collection of Donald McGill seaside postcards.

This is the old timers' land where 'gay' is still an insult, Cockneys are crafty and foreigners are cheesy Latino gits. The audience are cajoled into panto style singalongs, the songsheet at the back only lacked the bouncy ball highlighting the words. The show starts and ends at full pelt with the repellent Four Fat Folkers singing troupe, complete with druid and lascivious yokel, via the Smallest Man in the World, Pearly Kings, Dave Media and his powerpoint presentation, winners of Pop Idol (Uruguay edition), the gruesome twosome Knockers and Cocks, comedians from the Seventies who are specialists in the single entendre and surly old musician Banana Jazz.

Sketches and singing rude songs have been and probably will always be a staple of live comic turns, and some of these are very good of their kind. This is successful ensemble performing of gross parody and cartoonish humour, you'll either love it or hate it, you'll certainly not be sitting on the fence.

Julia Chamberlain

 

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Published: 1 Jan 2006

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