If you've ever wondered just what pseuds mean when they use the word "Rabelaisian", this eruption leaves you in no doubt. An orgy of eating, drinking, pissing, shitting, wiping of arses on goose-necks, and the most ludicrous codpiece I've ever seen, that's what it means. The whole excessive shebang is perpetrated by two blokes with a permanent set consisting only of a desk, but using a multitude of props, costumes, puppets and foodstuffs to create the requisite disorder.
The evening rollicks along in the spirit of the original, not really giving a toss about narrative advancement – halfway through the second half a plot nearly appears but is dismissed with an "After all, we've got this far without one..." And so they have: Messrs Ford & Leigh create a living mediaeval Viz strip, talking straight to the audience of "beloved drunkards and syphilitics" and liberally showering all areas with half-chewed raw potato. And after an hour and a half it stops: you're none the wiser, perhaps slightly more stained, but you've had quite a bit of fun watching two grown men making complete eejits of themselves. And you.
Written for City Limits magazine.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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