Footlights Spring Revue 2015: A Whole Lot of Bother

Tue 24th – Sat 28th February 2015

reviews

Eilish Cassidy

at 07:54 on 25th Feb 2015

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The Footlights have triumphed yet again. A Whole Lot of Bother was an extremely entertaining, innovative show which provided everything one would expect from such an established comedy powerhouse. For one and a half joyous hours in the semi darkness of the ADC Theatre, the audience were transported back to the era of Vaudeville and silent films, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Taking the form of a series of sketches, loosely connected by running jokes and themes, the show was really brought to life by the spectacular ensemble and stage presence of the cast. Not one sketch felt unimportant, due to the sheer levels of energy and charisma projected by the actors. The few hiccups that occurred during the production, such as a lighting malfunction, were convincingly covered up with improvised dialogue, and the audience was left in awe of the cast’s ability to keep a straight face. The inclusion of silent films as an interlude between the live sketches was particularly effective; excellently filmed, with an authentic period feel, they provided visual contrast to the reasonably bland set. The sketches provided an enormous range of reference, from One Direction to Nelson Mandela, thus ensuring there was something in the show for everyone.

Another highlight for me was the live jazz band that played to the audience as we took our seat, and that provided most of the soundtrack for the show. They lent the production an air of studied seriousness that contrasted well with the antics on stage.

The only criticism I have of this performance is that it was a very underwhelming set, which aimed at stylish minimalism and didn’t quite hit the mark. The production would have been more effective as a whole if there had been some visual difference between the sketches; the fact that the backdrop and props remained the same for much of the performance made it hard for the audience to distinguish at what point a sketch had ended, or whether the cast had assumed a different role.

Overall, this was an excellent show, with an outstanding cast and a witty, fast paced script. With an array of spectacular puns, an unsightly incident involving yoghurt and quite possibly the catchiest ‘welcome song’ you will ever hear on stage, this is definitely not a show to miss.

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