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REVIEW: Toritubbies, Top Trumps and ties

FANTASTIC FOUR: James Girard, Penelope Harrall, Karl Gernert and Dominique Spinks.
FANTASTIC FOUR: James Girard, Penelope Harrall, Karl Gernert and Dominique Spinks.

2017 Revue by Act II at Ayscoughfee Hall

Act II’s satirical look at the year just gone provided plenty of belly laughs and quite a few gasps too.

Usually known for its excellent child actors, this annual show gives the adults of Act II a chance to show what they can do – and they relish the opportunity.

Played out by just four actors – James Girard, Penelope Harrall, Karl Gernert and Dominique Spinks – there was a constant whirlwind of set and costume changes, but as long as you’d kept abreast of the news throughout 2017 you were in for a treat.

‘Toritubbies’ was an hilarious send-up of the Conservative Party and their current problems, with Penelope as ‘Terese-wesey’, Karl as ‘Bojo’, James as ‘Mog’ and Dominique as ‘Priti’.

‘The United Nations Primary Academy’ was super too, with the children mirroring world leaders. During a vote for class leader, young Donald’s manifesto was to get rid of everything the previous leader did, “even the good stuff”.

And the American president was also the target of the ‘Top Trumps’ sketch, where the idea of the game was for your card to portray a Trumpism even more offensive and outrageous than your opponent’s.

There was also gentle fun poked at our own MP JohnHayes over his insistence earlier in the year that all male members of parliament where ties. In a several sketches that popped up throughout the show, James’ Jeremy Corbyn first persuaded Karl’s John Hayes that the necktie was a modern item of clothing and then continually persuaded hime to go further back in history for his wardrobe, until he finally addressed the ‘Commons’ looking like a caveman.

Many shows throughout the UK will be targeting figures such as Corbyn, Trump and Theresa May, but I enjoyed these local references too, especially the grand switching-off of the county’s street lights by council leader Martin Hill, mimicking the usual Christmas lights switch-ons.

James dressed up as the Grim Reaper for the usual bad taste but funny song about all those famous souls who had died during the year – and there was even a verse for Keith Chegwin who had only left us four days earlier.

Harvey Weinstein, driverless cars and the hapless interviewee whose broadcast was interrupted by his children and their nanny also featured too on a great evening.

Jeremy Ransome


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