3 stars - Itís been a long time since I had an Improbable fix. This might be a minor Improbable, but minor Improbable is better than no Improbable. This one is effectively a long adults-only Punch & Judy Show.
Thereís an oversized booth with lots of Ďholesí of various sizes, some big enough for people and some just big enough for heads, with the traditional Punch & Judy size curtained aperture at the centre. Itís a mixture of live, somewhat gothic, characters including historical puppet masters Harvey & Havey, and puppets including a whole litter of piglets!
From a typical Punch & Judy starting point, we move on to Mr Punchís trial for murder, his meeting with the hangman and his descent into hell. Itís all very macabre, but also often funny, and there are a couple of lovely songs for good measure. Other pleasures include a group of bell ringers Ė just the hands and bells popping out of various apertures in the booth!
Itís overstays its welcome a bit at 100 minutes, but itís inventive and fun. Julian Crouchís imagination hasnít diminished, even if he is showcasing it on a smaller scale.
- Gareth James
28 Feb 12
I'll confess I've loved everything I've seen Improbable Theatre do since I chanced across them in the late 90s. This show is no exception - ingenious, hilarious, dark, whimsical and surprisingly moving. Frankly the best thing on in London at the moment, and anyone giving his show a one star review should get their head examined. - Dom Brewer
21 Feb 12
I heard a lone laugher the night I was there....a drunk. - Coral
17 Feb 12
'But for all its stylistic ingenuity the script is surprisingly short on laughs and is wound out longer than the story merits.' You must have seen a different show to me, I laughed the whole way through. It is theatrical and magical and not too long at all. I usually fidget like mad and glance at my watch constantly during anything, but I can't even tell you how long it lasted. I was so engrossed in an evening that took me away from my everyday life. I loved it, and I don't say that too often about anything I see. - Shelley Silas
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