Badass Be Thy Name
  • By NJ Joslin
  • |
  • 28th May 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Last year’s triumphant Police Cops in Space earned five star reviews and sell-out runs. Now Nathan Parkinson, Zachary Hunt and Tom Roe, the multi award-winning trio behind the hits Police Cops and its sequel Police Cops in Space, have returned to The Warren with Badass Be Thy Name. Luckily they're back in fine form, with this latest production switching genre from away from sci-fi and embracing everything horror has to offer. Vampires, treacle streams and Kung Fu...We’re in B-movie heaven.

You'll be hard pushed to find a more enjoyable hour

We're taken back to Manchester, 1999. Badass Be Thy Name follows our abandoned hero through the mundane of office life and Friday night pints, before the revelation that…he sees dead people. Fights, puns and musical numbers delivered by the devil develop at breakneck speed. A handful of performers provide what feels like 400 characters, transforming a shipping container stage into a blockbuster movie set. Film references from Blade through to The Matrix and Trainspotting are hit brilliantly and consistently, with everyone in attendance in stitches from start to finish. Fight scenes are executed perfectly with both skill and humour, while costume changes, the use of props and the overall tight space barely leave room to breathe. The hit rate of gags (scripted or otherwise) is dangerously comparable to a live performance of Airplane!

The show is a work in progress, but this only plays in favour of the performers, who seamlessly blend in forgotten lines and technical glitches. Are these cock-ups part of the show? We don’t care. It’s a joyous, well produced, well-performed hour, and although it may lack polish, this only adds to the charm. Yes, proceedings are silly, but never does it fall into the pit of pointlessly surreal.

Nathan, Zahary and Tom seem to have another hit on their hands - and if you missed them at Brighton Fringe, there's another chance to catch them in August at Assembly. This could certainly be one to watch for awards this summer - it's already a superb show at work in progress stage.

If rapid fire gags and 90s movies are your thing, you'll be hard pushed to find a more enjoyable hour at this year’s festival.

Reviews by NJ Joslin

The Warren: The Blockhouse

Badass Be Thy Name

★★★★★
The Warren: Theatre Box

Archie Henderson: Jazz Emu

★★★★
Rialto Theatre

Closer

★★★
The Warren: Theatre Box

Death of a Hunter

★★★
The Warren: The Burrow

Dead Happy?

★★★★
Sweet Werks 2

Conflict of Interest

★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Hot off the back of a total sell-out run at Edinburgh Fringe, Soho Theatre London and 59E59 Theater New York; multi award-winning company 'POLICE COPS' bring you the world premiere of their latest comedy blockbuster. Manchester 1999. A gritty Northern kitchen-sink drama turns into a vampire slaying horror epic. Complete with a 90s rave soundtrack, supercharged physical comedy and more vampires than you can shake a stake at. ★★★★★ THE STAGE I paid £12... I would have paid £13.” (Dara O’Briain)

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