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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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This collection of a dozen or so short sketches by five young writers - two of them the actresses Zawe Ashton and Michelle Terry - is a bright idea of the Bush.

It’s a mini-festival of embarrassing stories, aimed at teenagers, starting with those of the audience: we are all told to stand up and pose like tea-pots.

Next thing we know, we’re all dancing to Cher. And as the actor Felix Scott reminds us, not even Cher dances to Cher. None of the sketches are credited, but whoever wrote the thematic story of the guilty Westlife fan, running through several items, is on to something.

This poor lanky lad, beautifully played by Hugh Skinner, is dancing to the best of Westlife on his ipod when a forward slag tries to pick him up; he’s then caught red-handed in a record shop buying the video; and is finally ousted by his fellow part-time band members but not before he leads a rousing finale version of “Flying Without Wings”.

The title explains the catch-all editing process of Anthea Williams’s sprightly production: not so much a red nose day as a red face day, when not just writers, but the Bush’s audience, were invited to come up with material they’d rather we didn’t know about.

Drunken behaviour figures large, notably the raucous intervention of the best man’s better man at a wedding feast; and the confessions of involuntary incontinence of a young mother giving birth is fairly gruesome.

The writers - the others are James Graham, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (daughter of Rocky Horror producer and original cast member Chris Malcolm) and Joel Horwood (whose Mikey the Pikey was a chav-tastic hit at Edinburgh four years ago) - certainly keep us guessing, and amused. One or two sketches - such as the stand-off between Woolworths and Iceland by two representatives in placards, and a pair of public school toffs squaring up over past love rivalries - don’t quite fit the brief, but they’re still funny, and thankfully unsophisticated.

Katie Lyons does a sex-crazed country song that hymns the virtues of self-service and ends in the splits, and Kathryn Drysdale reads out an email from “Chantal in Romford” admitting that she was overtaken by an old man and a pantomime horse in a middle distance road race. That sounds like the very worst humiliation of all.


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