For regular fringegoers this year, there are markedly few of the regular staple performers returning to contribute to the semblance of normality the festival is offering up. Enter Police Cops, who continue their run as one of the must-see cult acts of the Fringe this generation. The three-man troupe bring the high-octane energy in Badass Be Thy Name, their fast-paced physical sketch show narrating a tale of bastards, ravers, priests and demons, set against a backdrop of the clubbing scene in late 90s Manchester.
One of the must-see cult acts of this Fringe this generation
Seasoned pros Nathan Parkinson, Zachary Hunt and Tom Roe put on a real show for their audience. What seemed like a series of roughly-themed skits soon evolved into a fully-realised storyline, with a flurry of gags, that never takes itself too seriously. The cast have excellent chemistry together and ad libbed admirably, as they adapted to the audience and customised the nuances of each look and inflection to the climate of the room. Complete with pop culture references, callbacks, comical props, epic fourth-wall breaks and ‘special effects’, at times, it almost felt like a parody of parodies, and it worked excellently.
There’s some high quality set pieces, including the showdown finale and a take on amateur dramatics which is to die for. Despite the mostly strong writing and fine performances all round, one does get the feeling that much of the show could have been staged equally effectively by a high-end improv troupe, and with the talents, experience and preparation time of the team, one could have expected a few more killer Fringe Moments to really set it apart. Unlikely to be the group’s finest hour, yet equally unlikely to leave any audience member feeling anything less than highly entertained.