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REVIEW: Act II's Revue 2018 at Ayscoughfee Hall, Spalding




Sometimes it's just nice to sit back and laugh at the world and, whether it be egotistical American presidents, ridiculous Government policies or Brexit, there's certainly been plenty to laugh about during 2018.

Cue Act II and its annual, irreverent look back at the year just gone, both nationally and locally.

Written by directors Karl and Charlotte Gernert, the show gets bolder, braver and possibly slightly ruder every year and is now becoming a must-see for many of us.

THe Fakest Showman sketch with, from left: Jo Wheatley, Dominique Spinks, Karl Gernert and Penelope Harrall. (6025698)
THe Fakest Showman sketch with, from left: Jo Wheatley, Dominique Spinks, Karl Gernert and Penelope Harrall. (6025698)

With just four actors - Karl, Dominique Spinks, Penelope Harrall and Jo Wheatley - the show was fast moving with constant set and costume changes as the talented quartet raced from one hilarious scene to the next.

The opening sketch was a Brexit special, with a medley of patriotic songs performed as the madness of recent events were played out. Congratulations to Jo for perfectly capturing Theresa May's awkwardness and forced jollity...she even nailed the pointy shoulders during 'Dancing Queen'.

The Government also came under attack for the awful Windrush scandal and Mrs May's abhorent 'hostile environment' towards immigrants.

Locally, gentle fun was poked at John Hayes for his knighthood and his call to bring back the death penalty, while South Holland Council came under fire for its bungled card payment parking scheme.

Spalding Grammar School's sixth form bag protest was brought back to life hilariously and Network Rail came under fire for causing constant traffic gridlocks.

The talented bunch did a beautiful take on the Windsor Royal Family acting as the TV Royle Family and they had great fun with the political correctness now surrounding terms such as 'Gingerbread Man' and 'Man-size'.

Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un and, of course, Donald Trump were also satirised and although the hilarious Stormy Daniels scene was played out brilliantly by Dominique and Penelope, I can't really go into much descriptive detail in this family newspaper! It was, though, one of the night's highlights.

Penelope's Grim Reaper rap was quite near the knuckle too as she listed the celebrities who have exited this mortal coil in 2018.

Even Kay Longstaff's cruise ship fall and 'national treasures' Ant and Dec got the Act II treatment, as did every untalented reality star, Jeremy Corbyn and the fans of Strictly Come Dancing who thought Seann Walsh and Katya Jones were 'worse than Hitler'.

Another great scene poked fun at those with a sense of entitlement through the guise of a game show. Kirsty Allsop's smashing of her children's iPods, the odious Tory MP Christopher Chope's blocking of the upskirting bill, Boris Johnson's comparing burka-wearing women to postboxes and Sir Philip Green's all-round greed and vulgarity were all highlighted.

And whoever came up with the Village People's YMCA dance for the GDPR sketch should take a bow - it was brilliant.

This is an absolute treasure of a show and it gets better year after year. Make a note in your diary for December 2019 now. I certainly will.

Jeremy Ransome



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