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Ginger & Black: The Chill Factory

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Corry Shaw

Dripping with pathos, subtlety and understatement, Ginger and Black bring us a collection of tales from the inmates of a singularly odd prison.

The duo work so well together with tremendous acting skills and the ability to remain straight-faced during even the most ridiculous sketches. Eri Jackson – Ginger – is spectacularly deadpan even when dancing around like a gazelle to lure Daniel Taylor – Black – into her confidence, before slaying him in a scene worthy of Tom and Jerry.

The immaculate performances are hindered by the slightly confusing script and one or two underwhelming scenes. The pair portray many characters, with just the merest costume change to signify the difference. This can make the narrative difficult to follow while trying to catch up with who’s who. This is not helped by the couple of occasions that the costume changes go wrong, with Jackson proclaiming at one point ‘I shouldn't be wearing this hat for this scene.’

The characters are all – I can only imagine intentionally - one dimensional, the only real interest coming from the prison guard who feigns a terminal illness to elicit sympathy and respect from his inmates. There is a surreal twist when Angela Lansbury of Murder She Wrote fame gets interred there and demands sexual favours. The sheer oddness of this concept doesn't fit smoothly into the rest of the tale, interrupting the flow.

Ginger & Black are tremendous actors and have all the techniques and tricks to draw out the laughs with their physical comedy, brilliant delivery and superb timing, but they need direction to harness the innate talent that they both possess.

There is an infuriating amount of potential that is not being realised. What could and should be a sublime hour in the company of gifted performers falls short and although this is entertaining, they still have a way to go.

Review date: 24 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw

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