Full Stage Splash: A Comic Look at the Comic Book
  • By Tom King
  • |
  • 28th Aug 2012
  • |
  • ★★★

This summer's clutch of blockbuster popcorn-bait has been dominated by the four colour heroes of the comic book. The Avengers, Spiderman, Batman, Judge Dredd - these figures loom large in our 'cultural' landscape. Yet they've mostly been rebooted, reinterpreted and reinvented so many times before that it's hard to work out where they started out.

'Full Stage Splash' attempts to give us this background by packing the entire history of comics into one packed hour. And it is PACKED, working from one scene to the next at a frantic pace, Golden Age into Silver into Bronze with barely a breath between.

You have to hand it to the troupe - they know their stuff. The muddied origins of the format in the pre- and post-war years are explored very thoroughly as are the influences that affected the popularity of various genres over the years. And with the academic tone of the show the jokes are surprisingly high-brow, if a little obscure. My particular favourite scene, though, was their depiction of the brat-pack artists like Todd Macfarlane and Rob Liefeld as moody, spoilt teens (a pretty fair assessment)

The problem here is one of focus. Though there's a lot packed into the show, there's a lot missing too and some things elaborated on which should perhaps have been left out. For example, the multiple worlds of the DC universe are the subject of a long, involved sketch while the important influence of the British scene, with publications such as 2000AD and writers like Gaiman and Moore is touched on very lightly if at all.

The humour is also somewhat hit-and-miss. And while sideways jokes about the freakish proportions and overly ornate costumes of Rob Liefeld characters are perfectly valid, they hit an uneasy balance between impenetrable for the uninitiated and cliched for those in-the-know.

It's a delicate balance to strike, producing comedy about a relatively niche interest but The Sigil Club strike the balance well. Funny and oddly educational if a little over-nerdy.

Reviews by Tom King

Underbelly, Cowgate

Lucy Farrett: Lois

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

She Sells Sea Shells

★★★★
Summerhall

A Fortunate Man

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square / Underbelly, Cowgate

The Cat's Mother

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Nigel Slater’s Toast

★★★

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

The Blurb

The Sigil Club attempt to fit the entire history of comic books into one hour of theatrical comedy? WARNING: May contain explosive sound effects, angry puppets and history.

Most Popular See More

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets