Steve Furst: Celebrity Squares

Note: This review is from 2002

Review by Steve Bennett

In Celebrity Squares, Lenny Beige creator Steve Furst has produced a loose format in which to showcase a wide range of new characters.

It's a mixed bag, certainly, but the best of the bunch are truly splendid creations, with enough major personality defects to fill a psychiatric ward.

Henry St Claire, an aristocratic member of a Seventies glitter band fallen on hard times, and Lynn Worrall Thompson, a demented and deluded celebrity stalker, are the most brilliant. Strikingly original, and brilliantly realised, they both have huge potential barely scratched upon here.

Other highlights include a clueless Notting Hill trustafarian; an Egyptian cabbie who taunts Mohammed al Fayed with his British passport; and Waltzer operator Ernie Vaz, who shot to fame in a reality TV show.

It's a mix of live monologues and filmed insets, such as the joyous Kinks-like theme tune, giving Furst time to change between skits.

A couple of the characters are weaker, relying on stereotypes of, for example, modern artists and motivational gurus, rather than entirely fresh characters. And the rock-star magician Odin, though very funny, is a little to close to Spinal Tap for comfort.

Whatever the character, though, the script is dripping with pearls - beautifully evocative turns of phrase, rich in detail and strong in metaphor.

Almost all the new creations are stronger and more three-dimensional than the cheesy lounge singer with whom Furst is so strongly associated, and hopefully this entertaining show marks the start an exciting new chapter in his career.

Review date: 1 Jan 2002
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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