A celebration of all things rural v the plasticity of the Tesco Life is the premise of the Bush Theatre’s latest offering currently on tour and caught at Plymouth’s The Drum where there was a delighted full house.
Stand up comic and playwright Russell Kane (Live at the Apollo, Fakespeare and one-time presenter of Big Brother’s Big Mouth) has teamed up with Bush Theatre’s composer- in-residence Michael Bruce to bring create a series of songs to tell the tale of Suffolk’s typical village of Upham.
Under threat of take-over by supermarket giants which envision a Tesco metropolis commandeering all produce on offer in Upham and absorbing it into its commodities on gleaming shelves, Farmer Joe (a suitably ruddy and robust Graham Lappin) endeavours to pull the villagers together in a united show of contented rural life.
And so we meet, amongst others, the fascist jam maker, the eco yuppie-warriors who cushion the farming life with the odd thou from the ATM, the makers of the goats yoghurt with its secret ingredient, the racist Bulgarians, NFU splinter groupie, vicar and champion of muddy adolescents, gay son and milk quota heir, and simple but pure bred villager Colin with his performing ferret and high hopes.
Some funny if rather obvious commentary on village life a la 2010, the versatile Katie Brayben and Gabriel Vick play for easy laughs and audience involvement under the tight direction of Anthea Williams with choreography by Lucy Cullingford.
The able trio, all competent musicians, switched and turned about in providing the musical background to the vignettes which were greatly enjoyed by most but perhaps something rather less than might be expected from the cutting edge Bush Theatre.