Since the last time I saw this show, we’ve gotten a new Doctor in the strangely controversial form of Jodie Whittaker and Any Suggestions, Doctor? has moved from Sweet Venues to Pleasance and gained some excellent set design along the way. That’s the wonderful thing about Doctor Who, it’s always evolving and that’s why it’s such an excellent subject for an improvised comedy. With all of time and space to choose from, a show with over 50 years of history, and a lead who can be played by any actor; it’s a rich vein for parody.
Plenty of laughs, witty asides, and in-jokes for the Whovians in the audience
Much like the TV show, we’re in a later timeslot - which might have impacted the number of children in the audience. They’re hugely outnumbered by the grown-ups but the appeal of Doctor Who is cross-generational and it certainly doesn’t impact the family-friendly fun. After a little preamble where location, episode title and the member of the team who gets to play the titular character, we find ourselves watching Curse of the Were-Barista starring James Gamblin as the Doctor. Gamblin plays his Doctor as a delightfully whiny Timelord accompanied by Matthew Sallworthy as Martin, his unenthusiastic but loyal companion.
The Doctor and Martin find themselves in the Welsh town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (well done to the audience member who suggested that location) dealing with a mysterious inn where the guests are being turned into human/sheep hybrids by drinking contaminated coffee served by an unwilling barista perfomed with a perfect Welsh deadpan by Zack Sizer. This pans out in some excellent comedy from Charles Dean (who wisely opts to avoid a Welsh accent) playing off of Lewis Dunn who follows suit with the claim that posh Welsh people actually sound English.
The action plays out with plenty of laughs, witty asides, and in-jokes for the Whovians in the audience. The running gag of most of the cast being completely unable to pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch gets a laugh every time and Gamblin actually gets pretty close by the end of the adventure. The genetic manipulation of the locals is revealed to be another villainous plot by Time-Lady, The Rani played with relish by Harry Whittaker. Everything is, of course, resolved by The Doctor and he and his companion head off to Center Parcs for a well-deserved holiday.
This show is highly recommended for fans of Doctor Who and, even if you don’t know your Sea Devil from your Zygon, you would have a lot of fun spending an hour in the company of this talented troupe.