Aeneas Faversham

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

This is a wonderful scripted and strongly acted selection of cod Victorian melodramatic snatches, if that's the word, introduced by the dandyish gentleman explorer Aeneas Faversham

I'm sadly old enough to have been at the Fringe in 1981 and seen that year's Cambridge Footlights revue which included Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Tony Slattery. I remember Fry and Thompson being good but raw; the others were fairly innocuous. Yet the talented team behind Aeneas Faversham team, The Penny Dreadfuls, are far more developed as both writers and performers.

I spy a straight-to-BBC Two TV series and two years of fame ­ and then who knows what? The four-man cast of Jamie Anderson, Humphrey Ker, Dave Reed and Thom Tuck come fully-fledged with charisma, talent, an impressive range of accents and sharp characterisations. roduction-wise, they have stark stage lighting and a strong soundtrack to add to the atmospheric ambience. They even have the one who is as tall as John Cleese and the one who darts around like Michael Palin.

They haven't missed a trick in this enchanting portrait of bad children's entertainers, vampire hunting, 'barren' wives and various evocative slices of Victoriana.

This is only one of four shows that The Penny Dreadfuls, who come from an improv background, have developed. They are frighteningly rofessional, and streets ahead of any competitors.

John Fleming

Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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