Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Review: The Department of Smelling Pistakes

I'm afraid that last night I was one of those annoying audience members who seemed to laugh earlier than anyone else. I'm sorry! It's just that The Department of Smelling Pistakes was just my kind of show and I'd now like to think of Angus and Toby as my two new best friends. I'm not sure what they'd make of this, but I got the impression they liked performing here!

The show told the story, or tried to tell the story, or didn't want to admit to the story or... oh, it's all getting confusing... basically there was a depressed Russian worker who wasn't quite sure of his job description who was being inspected by a familiar yet mysterious inspector. Confused? Well they were too, mostly because they were never quite sure what the 'Party line' was and whether they were, at any given time, in line with it! The was made all the more ambiguous due to misunderstandings arising from their grammatical incorrectness. For example, a politically incorrect adulation followed the simple remark, 'Your original' rather than 'You're original' when passing by the fax machine. "Yes! You noticed it too! I am original, aren't I?"

You may recognise Angus Barr from previous shows at Bradon Forest. We had Publick Transport's 20,000 Leagues Under the Office in 2008 and he has also toured with Gonzo Moose. His wonderful 'rubberness' always leads to some hilarious performances and I don't think I've ever seen so many facial expressions... especially when it all sunk in about the nose in his sandwich! This contrasted perfectly with Toby Davies' ├╝ber serious Party member, whose unfaltering dedication to the unknown task at hand was executed to perfection. From the moment he walked on stage, you knew to be wary of the character, and there was no hint of a sense of humour... even when his 'a coo' line (in reference to a story he was reading) was mistaken for a sneezing fit... "a coo, a coo, a COO!" He he... very funny.

We're looking forward to seeing Angus again in just a few weeks. Gonzo Moose return with Is That A Bolt In Your Neck? after the last show sold out. It's Friday 30th April if you want to reserve yours early. Hopefully it won't be too long until we see Toby again. Those guys are funny! Catch them while their touring. You won't regret it. Oh, and Angus kindly let me take a few shots last night... here's a preview.

"Absolutely top notch entertainment!" David Calder

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