Not the Horse

The story of a young man falling in 'deep shit' with a notorious gangster is something we see in movies all the time, and the influence of this is clear in Not the Horse. This show simultaneously seems like a tribute to Guy Ritchie and something from the strangest depths of the imagination, leaving you laughing and seriously questioning your sanity.

Once you embrace the sheer weirdness of this production, it really is hysterical.

The show revolves around three very different groups, all stereotypes, and the strange scenario that tangles all three together throughout a rather unfortunate week. Right from the start it is evident that nothing is held back. The script is filled with foul language and razor-sharp wit that does take some getting used to, but when used effectively, it is hilarious. A particular scene involving two paddling pools is filled with one-liners that are consistently delivered, and it is evident that writer Mikee Dickinson has a real gift for comic writing.

At times some of the humour does become repetitive or nonsensical. For example, the smooth middleman Silk always enters and struts around to his own theme tune. The first time, this is hilarious, the third not so much. Similarly, Silk uses a different accent for each group he addresses; again, this is funny but it doesn't make a lot of sense and borders on the confusing.

The humour of this show could not possible without the relentless commitment each actor throws into their performance. There is barely a shred of depth to be found in any of the characters as this is a comedy driven by creating a parody out of three contrasting social groups. Without the enthusiasm each actor clearly has, the piece could fall flat on its face. Fortunately, with so much energy and commitment, it is nigh impossible not to embrace this show and constantly laugh at every single character.

As a piece of theatre, there is very little depth to this piece whatsoever: the story is pretty much direct from a gangster movie and the characters are about as one-dimensional as possible. But after all is said and done, I don't think this matters. Naughty Corner Productions are not trying to make ground-breaking theatre, they're making something fun; once you embrace the sheer weirdness of this production, it really is hysterical.

Reviews by Alex Hargreaves

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The Blurb

Not the Horse is the new outrageous crime-comedy from the writers and director of NSDF award-winning show The Bastard Queen. Tony is a twenty-year-old scouser who finds himself in a labyrinth of trouble. After losing an illegal horse racing bet with a notorious group of London gangsters, Tony and his friends find themselves looking for any possible plan to come up with £250,000 in four days. After a whirlwind of ideas, accidental robbery, accidental horse tranquilizers and a lot of horse semen, Not the Horse spirals into a loud crashing finish.