There's been a murder at the after-show party! Hammed-up accents and paisley dressing gowns at the ready, Short and Curly take us back-stage after their wildly successful show in a delicious piece of murder mystery sketch-comedy. Oddly enough, all of the suspects have just appeared in the aforementioned show and our cross-examination consists of watching each sketch, one by one, and trying to discern who has the biggest motive for killing the kind, talented, John Lewis manikin Andy. This rigid, silent character is the source of a lot of wonderfully silly physical comedy, especially when he takes part in a break-dancing competition alongside a bemused audience-member.
The murder mystery theme often felt absent from the sketches, but when it came back to the fore and Short and Curly played with the genre's conventions, the audience were completely won over.
Among the suspects are a po-faced Blue Peter presenter, a metalhead wrestler and, oddly enough, the muppet Gonzo. In his sketch, the plotline of the Muppets' Christmas Carol was unceremoniously hijacked- a strange choice for such a large section of the show, especially considering the remainder of the sketches held their own perfectly well without having to lean on a story someone else had written. The other four suspects were perfectly vivid and distinct, with rag-tag costumes and quick dialogue keeping the energy up even when one of our duo had left the stage in the midst of a magic trick.
The murder mystery theme often felt absent from the sketches, but when it came back to the fore and Short and Curly played with the genre's conventions, the audience were completely won over. With an ever-expanding collection of props that he would smoke on stage, Curly's storyteller character kept ramping up the comedy every time he appeared, while Short's dubious puns on the word 'Murder' stretched us past the point of caring whether they made sense or not. The show as a whole is fantastically good fun and benefits from having a larger crowd- just make sure you get there early, or some of the floor-bound scenes (such as the comedic wrestling match) will be completely obscured.