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Beach Hut Mutts

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Cara Sandys

Tony Haase and Roy Hutchins won't be familiar names to most people now attending the Fringe, but back in the Eighties they accumulated three Perrier nominations, two Fringe Firsts and a considerable following among the punters.

Roy was known for his narratives of Heathcote Williams work and Tony was  part of Pookiesnackenburger, forerunners of what became Stomp, as well as Cliffhanger Theatre company, both Brighton-based collectives.

So in 2010, it was a surprise to find these Fringe veterans tucked away in the basement of the City Cafe doing a charming show set on Brighton beach. The show combined witty narrative, finely drawn characters of Coral the pensioner who has spent just a bit too much time in the sun and Teabag the ageing beach bum, as well as their talking dogs Pootle and Nostradamus.

Interspersed with this gentle comedy were songs and sea shanties played on the keyboards, plus some harmless audience participation.  Some props and perhaps a little coloured beach hut door, might have been a nice addition though.

Part of the fun often derived from forgotten lines and ad libs but when so much comedy material these days is the same old routine stuff, this was like a diamond in the rough, one that deserved a better venue than the somewhat unwelcoming City Cafe. But much of the pathos here came from the fact that the background to this play is the obviously longstanding friendship between two great performers, not quite in their twilight years, but still brave enough to venture back to their old stamping ground, with little fanfare and play at a free venue.

Let's hope they come back again and choose a better place to play, as Beach Hut Mutts is certainly a performance of great pedigree.

Review date: 29 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Cara Sandys

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