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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2010
A Betrayal Of Penguins: Don't Run With Scissors
This show has not yet got a description.
A Betrayal Of Penguins: Don't Run With Scissors
This show overran by 15 minutes which made it 25 per cent worse than it otherwise would have been. It's based on the premise is that we're witnessing the final broadcast of a long-running children’s television programme and that a saboteur has planted a bomb in the auditorium.
After enduring an hour of incompetent comedy being shouted by under-prepared performers, the possibility of a bomb detonating grew ever more attractive.
Irish performers John Gallagher and Matthew Smyth portray the presenters of Don't Run With Scissors but the conceit is continually undermined by the pair's wavering commitment to it. It goes without saying that the audience isn't really required to believe that they're watching a children's TV programme but the performers ought, at the very least, to keep roughly within the boundaries they've established.
The failure to do so damages the show's coherence, making the audience lose interest n how the various bits fit together. This might not matter quite so much if the bits were funny but very few of them are.
The show is punctuated by interventions from another member of the cast stood to the side of the stage wearing a penguin suit. Instead of speaking, he holds up placards that look as though they were made five minutes before the start of the show. When the figure in the penguin suit briefly holds centre stage to do some deliberately crap origami, the audience begins to appreciate the wisdom of keeping him sidelined for the rest of the show. Too much of what's on offer was pre-recorded and displayed on a screen. To be fair, the bits which had been filmed were tighter and generally a bit better than the chaos on the stage but that only means that the audience could have saved themselves a few quid and a lot of time by watching a better version of this show on YouTube.
There's an ambitious attempt to create interaction between the characters on stage and those on the screen but the timing wasn't nearly as good as it needs to be and, during one sequence, it felt as though the on-stage performer had got ahead of his on-screen interlocutor, undoing the whole scene.
Shows like this depend a lot on slickness but Betrayal of Penguins provided slackness instead and the whole thing degenerated into a farce... and not in a good way.
|Date of live review: Saturday 7th Aug, '10|
Review by Jason Stone
Really poor. Agree with the reviewer, this was just not funny and felt over long (as would 15 mins to be fair). If I had been sat nearer the door, I would have left after 5 minutes. The only vaguely funny part was when one of them got some gunk in his ear by accident. This would be a very poor school performance, and I felt robbed having to pay £8 for it.