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Club Seals: The Museum of Everything

Club Seals: The Museum of Everything

Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2002

The stars of BBC2's We Are History invite you to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the ultimate guided tour - obsessive collectors, historical re-enactors, souvenir bookmarks and fudge

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Original Review:

There are some gleefully hilarious moments in Club Seals' latest offering., from a wizard on a skateboard to a bag of cake sick.

Such moments of inspired stupidity stick in the memory long after this museum-based spoof is over - but there's just not quite enough of them to fill the hour.

It's not laugh-a-minute stuff - which, as any stand-up will tell you, is a pretty weak strike rate anyway - but when something comes along, it certainly tickles the funny bone.

Idiotic props, exaggerated spoofs and deranged characters are the stock-in-trade of this talented threesome.

The grotesquely evil National Trust mansion-owner; the parody of the animatronic dumbed-down 'experiences' and tacky educational movies; and the officiously humourless museum guides are all highlights.

And fans of Newman and Baddiel's childish, insult-swapping History Today academics will love the hilarious audio tour guide, which mines a very similar vein of humour.

But a fair few of the extended routines don't work - as it seems the troupe excel at quite a narrow range. Attempts at anything more subtle, or even more grossly exaggerated than usual (such as the prop-based undersea world segment towards the end) - fail to hit the bull's eye.

Kudos must also go to the team for extending the audio-visual trickery that every Fringe show seems to boast to include a nasal experience, too. Not to mention their fine use of a Stretch Armstrong doll.

It's a little too uneven to be truly satisfying, but when the Club Seals make an exhibition of themselves, there are plenty of laughs.

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