Gilded Balloon Cowgate, Edinburgh
August, 2002

*** Slight but amusing rock nostalgia piece

Fifty-minute play about has-been rockers from veterans of the impro comedy circuit Jim Sweeney, Steve Steen and Stephen Frost.

Their band nearly made it in the post-hippy 1970s, until their keyboardist went off to study accountancy at university. Now they're making the smallest of small-time comebacks, playing corporate dinners. One night they get stranded at a motorway service area when their van breaks down (hence the title), and share reminiscences.

Sweeney's second scripted play to hit the Fringe (following Danny's Wake a few years ago) contains plenty of laughs for a general audience, and many more for those who remember bands like Blodwyn Pig. The three performers have years of experience working together in comedy, and Stephen Frost is one of the worst and most infectious gigglers you'll ever see on a stage. It's more of a boys' play, really, and it doesn't do as much as it could with a bit of development of the basic idea. But they're only out to have a good time and share it with us, and they succeed. Oh, and the music played as the audience exit their supposed number 48 hit from the '70s is a frighteningly accurate pastiche of hippy-dippy tosh.

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Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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