Thursday, July 18

The League Of Gentlemen: Live Again

- September 12, 2018

When it comes to bizarre comedy The League Of Gentlemen set the bar high. They created a form of contemporary gothic humour that was skin-crawlingly creepy and pant-wettingly funny – but could they achieve their feats of grotesque character based comedy in a live format? Too right they can, overcoming in the first half the need for costumes, prosthetics and makeup by paring things down to wearing black tie and the occasional wig, spectacles or dentures. It worked beautifully, revealing their true craft as actors. Of course much is based on the beautifully written scripts, there’s little left to chance in their work and they deliver it with easy style, never a fluffed line in the complex wordplay, nor a step put wrong. This was slick!

It’s fearless stuff too, hardy a sacred cow is left un-slaughtered as they play havoc with the boundaries of what is and is not permissible in this age of political correctness and fear. And the audience of hard core fans lapped it up, whooping with delight as they rolled out favourite character after character and sketch after sketch. And that was where we were by the end of the first half, happily sated by this rich feast of shock and droll.

Then after the interval, hoping for more of the same, the guys upped the ante and delivered the very best of their work in full costumes and make-up, wigs and funny teeth, and on a beautifully built set that took us to the heart of Royston Vasey. The sparse staging of part one was left behind and out came the favourites, again pushing the edges of what is correct with gay abandon, ripping holes in our ever-so-correct world and making us roar with unashamed laughter at their perfectly hideous creations. If Dickens had been subjected to contemporary restrictions of what it is acceptable to lampoon he might never have finished one novel – thank god The League Of Gentlemen have the same attitude

The Brighton Centre

September 11

Andrew Kay

Rating: ★★★★★

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