Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Nicodemus' eccentric Dutch Grandma sits looking mischevious. Today is her 100th birthday and the day her vow of silence is finally lifted.
For Nicodemus, a family heirloom has held special significance for so long and today we can share in the wonderous secrets of The Box of Cricks. Sketch comedy from a crazy bunch of Grandees.
Perhaps surprisingly, this is not the only Fringe act to feature a silly dance routine performed to Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights, as Patrick Monahan also does it. But, as their bumper sticker might read, The Grandees do it better… and not just to Wuthering Heights.
In this gloriously cracked joyride of a show, the comic trio take silly dancing and transform it into an art. No opportunity to gurn, leap or Vogue is left untaken. If Monty Python's Ministry Of Silly Walks had an office Christmas party, this is what it would look like.
Fortunately, the three also have the dramatic nous to tether the delicious froth of the clowning. Box Of Cricks is a weirdly wonderful, pan-European fairytale where Nicodemus, a put-upon deaf underdog with no rhythm and a rat-shaped penis, is the hero.
On her 100th birthday, Nicodemus's eccentric Dutch grandmother hands him a child's music box that serves as a portal to a world where he was once prince, before the evil Grandees invaded and blew up his parents.
Now he can finally reclaim his title, but first he must defeat the rapping, gibbering Grandees, with the aid of a lycra-clad, Kenneth Williams-esque faun, a Fisher-Price tape player and of course, endless silly dancing.
Since Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt reached rockstar status, fantastical surrealist high jinx have never been more fashionable, and the Grandees mine the same vein. Thanks to their tight writing, spotless acting and deadly serious commitment to tomfoolery, they hit their own gold.
Reviewed by: Nione Meakin