Farce Noir Presents... The Big Sheep

This delightfully daft and silly send-up of ‘50s film noir is gleefully performed in one of the oddest venue spaces I’ve come across. There is barely a stage in Udderbelly’s new venue, yet this did not affect the sprightly and very game four young actors who presented their shaky but amusing pastiche. After a nicely scripted introduction which included an amusing apology for the limitations of the set, we are instantly taken into the shifty shadows of a typically pulp-filled tale of femme fatales, double crossing and, erm, killer sheep. Our hero amusingly narrates the tale at opportune moments and there is an effectively moody atmosphere created early on with excellent choices in music and costume. The cast are all very game with a few familiar faces from other successful shows at the festival this year and from previous years.

Sadly, there is one nearly fatal mistake with this show. The actors continually come out of character for uncomfortably unfunny scripted moments that involve talking to an imaginary agent in the audience or talking about their training. It really dislodges the show from what has the potential to be a tremendously effective genre parody. Instead this persistent post-modern breaking of the fourth wall completely breaks the flow to an unnecessary extent. This isn’t to say that there are not some moments of genius, such as the main hero insisting that only he must narrate the story and not the other characters, cleverly playing up to the tricks of the genre. Yet even if the out of character humour had of been successful, it would still seem that the company didn’t have enough faith in their own story and characters that they decided to then poke fun at themselves. When the company comes up with some side-splittingly funny and creative moments such as the cardboard cut-out chase sequence or sends up any of the tropes of the genre, the comedy reaches its highs. This is a show that needs a rethink if it is to be developed further, yet one definitely worth seeing this year for some classy spot-on parody.

Reviews by Stewart McLaren

Online at www.DavidLeddy.com (with Traverse Theatre)

City Of the Blind

★★★
Northern Stage at King's Hall

Milk Presents: Self Service

★★★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Haggis Haggis Haggis

★★★
Institut français d'Ecosse

Antiquithon

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

RIVERRUN

★★

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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

It's 1951. Foot, a hard-boiled detective, was about to be made over easy for a dame. Dangerously playful multi-character comedy starring Richard Soames (The Beta Males), Briony Redman, Paul Foxcroft and Charlotte Gittins.

Most Popular See More

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets