Marcus Brigstocke: The Award-Winning Show
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2002
...and the winner is... crying uncontrollably!
Vacuous showbiz award bashes are hardly the most elusive of targets, but Marcus Brigstocke and Co do make a decent fist of it with this lightweight, but fun, affair.
But, like all the best award ceremonies, it drags on far too long - way beyond the point where your interest has waned.
It's witty, and sometimes subtle, and all performed in a jolly, mocking spirit with plenty teasing badinage among the cast - well, from Andre Vincent anyway. Even the sound technician joins in.
The show revels in sending up celebrity luvvies from Stephen Fry to Stephen Berkoff, and while their impersonations may not be perfect, the essence is always there.
But there are a few too many in-jokes. The comedy award, homing in on the likes of Tommy Tiernan, Brendon Burns, Ross Noble and Rich Hall was sheer brilliance - but casual comedy-goers might not have picked up the references.
On the other hand, the better-known targets - such as the spoof Guy Richie film Nonce - don't provide enough fertile ground to say anything new.
There are a couple of very nice touches - the champagne-swigging impressario complaining about the arts being starved of funding, and the gloriously patronising award for ethnic achievement being memorable moments. That's without mentioning the finale, starring a man in a panda suit.
The three-strong team have performed 20 fringe shows between them over the years, without a single award between them. Though it can be a laugh, don't expect this show to change any of that.