This humorous show with Pembroke Cellars roots has not lost the sense of what originally gave the group so much charm.
In another bid to make it onto the Footlights committee, the team that brought you Quinoa AND Quinoa 2 have clawed their way out of the Pembroke cellars and onto the ADC mainstage.
Writers Michael Tigchelaar and Elliot Wright were endearingly self-aware, respectively playing a “posh effete” and a dimwitted self-parody. Tim Vaughan’s 4th wall breaking janitor, despite the whole metatheatre concept being ridiculously overplayed, brought such life to the role that it managed to carry off a character which would have otherwise felt quite flat. Carine Valarche played Mercedes with a ball-busting aplomb, but the material was rooted in so many anti-chav stereotypes that despite attempts at subversion and contrived moments of humanisation this particular bit of satire didn’t quite land.
Will Dalrymple’s brash American frat boy who thinks the sun shines out of his arse was played with the necessary gusto. Molly Stacey as Daisy brought the same enthusiasm, however was fridged in what I can only assume to be an attempt at irony. Rhiannon Shaw’s “strong Bavarian woman” was not on stage often, but more than made up for it with strong presence when she was.
From a technical perspective, the scene changes were slow and some of the timings on the lighting was a little out of sync, but the design was fun and really added to the storytelling at points. The projected sketches as a set was a lovely and well-executed idea.
More than anything else, you could tell that this was a group of friends getting together to have a laugh onstage. While not the most polished or sophisticated, there is a certain infections charm in in all those WTF moments which makes it a fun little thing in a way that perfectly befits a two night stand.
This off-beat, irreverent play is one of the more refreshing pieces of comedy I’ve seen for a while. A welcome change from the standard fare.
I’d recommend going to see it tonight, or indeed check them out whatever project they’re working on next. And if you’re not, well, what in the name of Christ’s College, Cambridge is wrong with you?*
*joke creds to the show.