As far as many newspapers are concerned, Sean Foley and Hamish McColl, aka the right size, have an identity crisis on their hands. Does their work qualify as theatre or is it straight comedy? As for the rest of us, however, the question might as well be - does it really matter? Aside from editors, faced with the conundrum of which of their reviewers to send, nobody cares when they're laughing. Or do they?
In Bewilderness, the duo have followed their award-winning Do You Come Here Often, about two men stuck in a bathroom for 25 years, with a similarly absurdist concoction about two men trapped in another hinterland - down the back of a sofa. There's a chance for one of them to escape the "upholstered underworld" with long-time captive Freddie Jones. But who will be the lucky fellow?
McColl plays an uptight lawyer/weekend warrior to Foley's genial ice cream van driver whose family has recently deserted him for overuse of the word "fantastic". In addition to the sprightly Jones, reminiscing about his gazing through the webbing at the world's arses, the right size are joined by the single ruby-slippered, banjo-playing Chris Larner, providing his customary tunes.
Though the stage is largely bare, the cast - with the help of designer Alice Power - employ a variety of imaginative props to fuel the surreal narrative. Rag doll extras, trap doors, stand-up neck ties, a bicycle-driven projector, reversible planks, brown paper menswear, a CCTV escapade reminiscent of Graham Norton and a giant broom all contribute to the series of sight and sound gags that have the audience in stitches.
Other big laughs come with McColl and Foley jigging around in birthday suits while singing an anthem in the manner of The Jungle Book's "Bear (or rather Very Bare) Necessities" and, in another musical interlude, when they're harmonising with a be-gloved fire. In fact, for me, these musical numbers - thanks in no small part to Larner's hilarious lyrics, as well as the pair's slapstick delivery - are the right size's strongest USP.
I recall with much glee how well they integrated their songs into Lee Hall's masterly re-interpretation of Bertolt Brecht's Mr Puntila and His Man Matti, co-produced with the Almeida in 1998/99. That was a tour de force of comic theatre. Which, whoops, brings me back to the original question. Is this comedy or theatre?
Well, Bewilderness is a fun, fun show, but it really does feel like an overly long sketch rather than a play with enough meat. That said, the right size is hugely talented. Whatever Foley and McColl do will be worth a look. But, for my money, I'd say, gentlemen, more music please and more true theatrical adaptations. Bring on the Brecht.