REVIEW: Five Go Off On One!

More like Uncle QuentWIN.

cambridge comedy Comedy Corpus Playroom Enid Blyton famous five famous five review Five Go Off on One! review theatre review

Robert Eyers’s fabulous Mighty Booshian take on the Famous Five uses the core elements of Blyton’s books (e.g. the Famous Five plus relatives, the fact that they go on an adventure and ginger beer) as a springboard into all sorts of other areas (like the BBC news and extraterrestrial activity).

While I was expecting a close parody of the original stories – not that I still listen to the audiobooks to know that the show isn’t this – what I got instead did not disappoint.

Go see the show if you like picnics, short shorts, and lollipop licking. (Photo Credit: Robert Eyers)

Kudos must be given to Emma Jillings for clothing Will Dalrymple in the shorts that she did, and Dalrymple, too, should be very pleased with his highly amusing delivery of the lines “flaming muff!”, “no, they’re GYPSIES!”, “well, that’s what Uncle Quentin says”, amongst others. In fact, it’s worth paying £6 to see Will Dalrymple in the role of Julian alone.

Other highlights of the show include Soppy Lenoir and his existential soliloquy after the five four (Timmy’s been fed a large piece of meat by a man with a Paedophile beard and mysteriously gone missing, obvs) cruelly abandon his lollipop-licking advances of friendship and, best of all, Uncle Quentin’s striptease that will only leave you wanting more. Tim Vaughan was impressively versatile in a range of roles (including Soppy L) throughout the show and Miles Stopher embodied a truly unique (and hilarious) Quentin.

Alex Harris as Dick, in rather a tight spot. Gosh. (Photo Credit: Robert Eyers)

Lauren Brown as Anne and Alex Harris as Dick made for engaging and suitably sweet members of the Five team. I couldn’t help but feel that George (Millie Foy) was a lot more understated than she could have been though the modest part written for her was probably more to blame for this than the actress herself. Riley Smith’s Southern accent in the part of Aunt Fanny was also a tad distracting.

I really enjoyed the attention to sound and visuals that went into the production: from the Bond-esque opening credits right down to the watering can cry-in-a-cave scene. Especially Brown’s expression in said scene.

The show features wavey garms – like this hat. (Photo Credit: Robert Eyers)

Although the production isn’t particularly tight, it to an extent rocks its lack of cohesion. And if you want to see a highly energetic laugh-a-minute show which features some wavey garms and absolutely shudders with sexual tension, this is the gig for you.

4/5 stars