Men With Bananas... Demonstrate Handy Survival Tips

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Stumbling across this show was one of those unexpectedly pleasant surprises that make the Fringe so enjoyable.

Tucked away in an upstairs room at The Outhouse, Mark Logan and Dave Nichols, aka Men With Bananas, busily ham it up with spectacular vigour for an hour of exhilaratingly silly farce.

Central to the show is the theme of man versus beast and on this basis, a series of short films are projected that splice macho action films with the crème de la crème of tacky B-movies.

The audience is encouraged to root for their favourites as Michael Caine takes on a shark, Mr Miyake wrestles a giant snake and Oliver Stone attempts to fend off a monster This is accompanied by mock-serious live commentary, highlighting, were it not obvious enough, the painfully bad acting, unlikely special effects and gross inconsistencies.

It’s not clever, but it’s damn funny.

In between the films, the duo return to the stage to give advice on how to survive a shark attack ("poke it in the gills") and, a personal favourite, what to do if giant slugs try to devour you.

Both men are hugely likeable, energetic performers, who make the most of the show’s pantomime qualities.

One gag involves pretending to get TV wildlife personality Terry Nutkins on the phone for a chat, which ends in brilliantly gruesome fashion.

They are also competent stand-ups, quick to spot the comic potential in an audience member’s unexpectedly violent response to being asked for suggestions on escaping a pitbull’s bite.

The film element of the show goes on slightly too long – it’s a good idea but it would be preferable to see more of the pair in double act mode. Similarly, with such a rich theme, it seems a waste they do not expand it further.

But the show is such engrossingly, ridiculous good fun, you won’t have chance to worry about any that.

Reviewed by: Nione Meakin

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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