The company who so fumbled Three Men In A Boat last summer have here got it terrifically right. Flann O'Brien's tale about a murderer who finds himself in a strange land where people gradually turn into bicycles and there's a lift down to Eternity is at once sinister and hilarious; in a bare-brick upper room in Queen's Park, Ridiculusmus use a stepladder, an armchair, a couple of wardrobes and (of course) the odd bike to create a shifting tapestry of weirdness, where the only certainty is that oddities will be explained in comically polysyllabic babble.
Kevin Henshall holds the attention as Yer Man, in a role that's often just bewilderment and stupefaction; David Ulrick-Woods is a gloriously incomprehensible Sergeant Pluck; lighting effects are entirely by means of (yes!) bike lamps, and in this promenade production there's no coercion as the company marshal the audience into dancing a polka or searching on hands and knees for a microscopic box. It's a bit forward to perform at this venue with obviously cod-Oirish accents, but the sheer ludicrousness coasts past such cavils. Bless their little teratological mollycules.
Written for City Limits magazine.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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