The Plan B Show

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett


It's the age-old story: boy meets boy, boy meets girl, girl is a raving psychopath. Well maybe not the last bit. The Plan B Show introduces us to a boy in a coma, who can only be saved, we are told, through our laughter. It's the exact same trick Howard Read used with his last Little Howard show, but it does work in loosening up the audience and getting them to play along.

From here we're shown in flashback sketches just how this came about via a number of comedy sketches. It falls very much into the 'silly' category, with most laughs deriving from something bizarre happening. Either (a) one of the characters says something odd or shocking out of the blue, or (b) a character says something just ahead of an ironic incident. It's very simple writing that becomes tired quickly.

The story itself, however, is far from simple, something clearly acknowledged by the writers as they end the show with a song that aims to explain away a number of the larger plot holes. Nevertheless, acknowledging them doesn't excuse their existence in the first place.

The show is not devoid of merit. The performances are first rate and the physical comedy well performed. There are also a few brilliant throwaway lines and a great set piece where a sketch is introduced as being presented in Dolby Surround, as a bunch of the cast walk around the back of the audience shouting 'Dolby Surround'.

But despite these flashes of brilliance the show remains slight, with most of the humour being far too simplistic to garner a great rating. That said, the recent success of certain TV sketch shows shows there is certainly an audience for this sort of straightforward silliness.

Dean Love


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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