Milk Teeth

Tue 1st – Sat 5th November 2016

reviews

Clare Cavenagh

at 14:14 on 2nd Nov 2016

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Milk Teeth is the best kind of comedy sketch show. The cast are wonderfully strong, the material is great, and the sketches are diverse enough to ensure that nobody has time to be bored, not even for a second. A lot of laughter was heard in the Corpus Playroom last night, and I strongly suggest that you get in on it.

The sketches themselves were numerous and varied, ranging in length and style, with some presenting intact glimpses of whole stories, and others which were wordless glimpses of action. They were held together by brief musical interludes and recordings of a radio broadcast asking small children to comment on current events. Initially, these were so delightful they threatened to upstage the show, but Milk Teeth very quickly hit its stride and restored the balance.

All four cast members, who were also the writers of the material, were wonderful, and everyone was given their individual chance to shine. Christian Hines was excellent in a surreal and silent sketch in which he took a photograph of Eve Delaney and a watermelon on a date, only to have things go disastrously wrong.

James Coward's golden moment was one of the high points of the show, a brief and somewhat frightening attempt at a little bit of 'improv'. The cast readied themselves by donning turtlenecks and doing a warm-up, before throwing open suggestions to the audience. Coward, lurking in the back row, took over completely, screaming instructions at the cast before storming on stage to make doubly sure they would comply with his every demand. The sudden violence of his shouting shocked a huge laugh out of the audience.

Eve Delaney was wonderful, and slightly frightening, in a two-handed sketch about a duo of television presenters who have 'seen it all before', featuring increasingly worrying advice on the subject of cooking ('anything can be a five-minute-meal, just put it in the oven for five minutes!') and ever more unsettling bouts of dancing about the stage to their own theme-tune.

Her partner in this sketch, John Tothill, is also fantastic, but he comes into his own in the couple of sketches which allow him to play the straight man to the rest of the cast, and hold forth in the face of their weirdness. He does this particularly well in a sketch which points out the ridiculousness of getting roaring drunk on the eve of a battle - 'you all overslept, and I had to do it on my own. Thanks, arseholes' - and another about a group of friends who in nine years have never once talked about anything which wasn't surfing.

The best sketch in the show featured nobody at all on stage, but consisted of a voice-over played while the audience was left staring at a turnip on a chair, the recipient of this year's BBC Young Root Vegetable of the Year award. This sketch, with its familiar weirdness, brought together all the best elements of Milk Teeth.

For a fun evening out that's over in time for you to resolve an essay crisis, you can't do much better than Milk Teeth. The whole Playroom laughed along for the duration, as the cast took them through a weird and wonderful series of stories. Plus, Milk Teeth made me think about the Tweenies for the first time in fourteen years. Grab yourself a ticket and go along.

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