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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

SHOWBIZ: The Anniversary

Comedy genius Eric Sykes’s 1967 film, The Plank, famously presents a narrative almost entirely without dialogue.
The action is made up of slapstick and sight gags.
The Anniversary is a zany production that follows in the footsteps of Sykes’s iconic masterpiece.
Created by Clare Bartholomew and Daniel Tobias along with director Peter Houghton, the show is defined by absurd sight gags, violent mishaps and screwball pranks punctuated by grunts and sound effects.
Kooky couple, Barb (Bartholomew) and Jim (Tobias), are getting ready for their golden wedding anniversary.
The bunting is up, the food is prepared, and the guests are on their way.
Balloons, music, dancing – what could go wrong? Everything it seems that can go wrong does go wrong. Classic routines such as a mad chase scene in and out of doors, a food fight and the obligatory pie-in-the-face abound, interspersed with a narrative where every new scene is more haywire than the last.
Familiar territory maybe; nevertheless, the audience reacted with belly laughs.
Toilet humour, pratfalls and visual jokes featuring a dead rat, Fluffy the bunny rabbit, Tiddles the kitty cat and a murderous magpie are just some of the wacky running gags that keep the show moving forward.
The action never lets up, escalating from madcap stunts to cartoon comic violence.
Bartholomew and Tobias make it seem effortless as they crank up the comedy.
With nods to Mr Bean, Fatal Attraction, The Poseidon Adventure, The Shining, Hitchcock’s The Birds and others, this show is as outlandish as it is ridiculous.
It’s also very funny.

  • Review by Kathryn Keeble