Nougat for Kings

This raucous romp with a proclivity for puns and a lot of alliterative ardour flails ferociously to amuse. If someone had dirt on Tarantino and forced him to do a period piece with pirates the result would look a little like Nougat for Kings. The show borrows not only the master of neo-noir’s tangled plots and aestheticization of violence but also Tarantino's famous use of an original music soundtrack, which is imitated here with sassy soul soundbites and acapella Queen lyrics cutting into the whimsical dialogue.

You don't see the end coming by a heteronormative mile but, considering it's an original farce, the show suffers somewhat from insufficient laughter.

With swashbuckling noblemen standing in for gunslinging thugs, this piece of new writing revolves around two rival brothers: one scheming, the other adventurous. Both were involved in The Big Coffee Heist of 1799. Fifteen years on, the coffee conspiracy catches up with an aristocratic household. Peruvian rascals collide with highly strung dames; emotions and coffee beans fly high in this pleasantly flimsy farce. The show winds its way through time-mashing references, but when confessions of love are fobbed off with “I don't care if you're Milton or P Diddy,” it works surprisingly well.

However, Greg Obi's chatter as the finger-snapping Caecilius Clay becomes fairly strained after 40 minutes, along with the overall show's heavy reliance on word play and flowery language. The cast, while perhaps too large, is energetic, committed, and throws everything at the stunts, stage fights and, notably, an South American coffee dance orgy. Sadly, most of this happens at the expense of character nuance.

You don't see the end coming by a heteronormative mile but, considering it's an original farce, the show suffers somewhat from insufficient laughter. Unleash The Llama's genre-mixing experiment has Tarantino's balls (the show is not suitable for minors) but it does not quite share his storytelling finesse.

Reviews by Annegret Marten

Church Hill Theatre

Monster Madness

Just the Tonic at The Mash House

Paperback Time Machine: Book to the Future

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Nougat for Kings

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

‘Lotta people didn't know who I was for a long time, but now, no cat will ever forget my name’. If you crave sexy, swashbuckling, scandalous action, this new blaxploitation drama guarantees to put your ass in traction. When Caecilius Clay returns from the New World to avenge his brother, fraternal feud erupts in a chase from the seediest of opium dens to Her Majesty's court. Tarantino meets Tartuffe in Nougat for Kings: farce at its finest. Double the bodacity, twice the tenacity, more tantalising than two tangy totalitarian titties! 'You stay cool. Your humours be janglin’.'