The Fool, The Champ and The Bandito

The Fool, The Champ and The Bandito is "presented by BA(Hons) Acting and Creative Performance students, from the University Centre Colchester" who "in their final year of study present a series of devised pieces as part of The Creative Performance Company". I'm not sure which part of their description I find the more surprising: that they really are drama students or that what they performed were actually devised pieces.

There were many attempts to raise a laugh and from time to time they were successful

The publicity continues by inviting us to join them "on a journey where we will explore the effects of laughter, alcohol and the random s*** three actors can come up with". Perhaps I'm pedantic but I subscribe to the view that when a company puts out blurb about a production they will deliver the goods, otherwise why bother. This show was not an exploration of the "effects of laughter", whatever that might mean. There were many attempts to raise a laugh and from time to time they were successful, though I think mostly among their friends and supporters. There was a moment when a few plastic cups of lager appeared, which we were invited to take, along with a bag of crisps, but that hardly brought about hysteria. What we had in abundance was "the random s***".

The opening scene of the Bandito in the box was endearing and he generated a degree of affection from the audience which was sustained throughout. There was a sense of yearning for his reappearance in order to hold the whole production together. Quite where his accent was from still leaves me mystified. It sounded as though it hailed from somewhere Scandinavian, but given that he was wearing a sombrero and was a bandito I assume it was a failed attempt to sound Mexican; or was the mismatch a joke? He made the most of using a latecomer to open up material and adopted the subject as a recurring source of humour. Given that this was a minimally structured, informal, casual event of off-the-cuff material, interjections by the lighting technician also helped to add some humour. The Fool and The Champ had their moments on stage with various pieces that presumably had been subjected to some form of rehearsal. The Fool gave a fine demonstration of dribbling and The Champ dressed appropriately, sang a couple of times and made some allusions to Putin, which presumably cemented the promised comments "on politics and social events".

One line from the show stands out. "There's no need to be talented today; it's all done on computers these days." This is perhaps rather an unfortunate line coming from drama students. Be assured guys, there really is a need for talent, ideally combined with effort to produce something worthwhilee as opposed to "random s***".

Reviews by Richard Beck

Turbine Theatre

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★★★
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every seven years

★★★
Arcola Theatre

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★★★
Lion & Unicorn

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★★★★
Jermyn Street Theatre

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★★★★
The Space

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★★★

Since you’re here…

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Join us on a journey where we will explore the effects of laughter, alcohol and the random s**t three actors can come up with. Of course, we can't forget to comment on politics and social events, so don't worry, it's not all for the hell of it. Be there or be at the pub, either is good! BA(Hons) Acting and Creative Performance students, from the University Centre Colchester, in their final year of study present a series of devised pieces as part of The Creative Performance Company.

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