Colin & Fergus: Rutherford Lodge

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

The duo (or rather in this show, the foursome) hit the audience with a very simple bit of comedy as they walk in the room and realise that the Abba song you can hear is actually being sung by the sound man Phil.

It's not the only inspired piece of comedy in this show and no surprise that Colin and Fergus won the Writer's Guild award in 2004. This year they have dispensed with their usual sketch format in favour of one long sketch ­ well play I suppose you'd call it accompanied in its execution by their mate Dave McNeill and, of course, sound man Phil.

Rutherford Lodge is a Victorian detective so desirable he even has his own theme tunes. In this adventure (we are told he has had many others) he comes up against Emperor Toot, his deadly henchman Wong and the heinous three men in a tub with their terrifying Rub a Dub Dub chant - the last thing that many a salty seaman heard before a certain and messy death.

The play is full of enjoyably dodgy characters, Yorkshire man John's wife who enjoys craft fairs and rough sex,' Policeman Longbody with the John Cleese silly walk and the utterly irrelevant orphaned urchin 'Me dad's head's carme oaff.'

There's plenty of inspired silliness to be discovered here; Irishman O'Reilly who only accidentally speaks English, Lodge's father who used him as a canvas for his paintings and the boy who drops his lollipop into the dirt - 'little did he know his great, great grandson would shoot John Lennon.'

The quartet are fond of drawing attention to what they are doing as there are plenty of self reflexive turns to the audience to step out of character and Phil the soundman performs the sound effects in Norman Lovett style ­ 'sound of a wave crashing over them, whoosh, whoosh'

Great stuff.

Marissa Burgess


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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