Great British Mysteries
Reviewed – 14th May 2018
“this hour long show delivers at least a giggle in every line”
After three days on the sofa coughing and hacking and bored out of my mind I was looking forward to an evening of laughter. The first joke of the evening was the journey into Soho – my local railway network could sell their timetable as a work of fiction and humour as all online information completely contradicts the departure screen on the platform. Despite this we arrived with enough time for a medicinal drink before heading upstairs in the Soho theatre.
Very quickly the lights dimmed and the screen in front of us flickered through some of the great mysteries, myths and legends of Great Britain – and at this point you need to hear the words ‘dun dun duuuuuun’ in your head for dramatic effect.
Our hosts for the evening, Olive Bacon, a Supernaturalist not pizza topping, and Dr. Teddy Tyrell, sometimes spelled with four Ds (played brilliantly by Rose Robinson and Will Close), arrived in sensible shoes and professor tweeds to take us on a whistle stop tour of the highlights of their ‘televisual investigations’.
With gusto and an air of authority we witnessed them delve into suspicious and undocumented anomalies across the History of the British Isle. Using their eye for detail, careful field notes, and relying entirely on instinct alone, they pose questions on the identity of Jack the Ripper, what happened to the Princes in the Tower, and dared to reopen the old question regarding the gender of Elizabeth I …
With journalistic methods as minimal as their body of research, they jovially exclaim ‘evidence shmevidence’ in the face of opposition, disbelief and fact, and take us on an investigation of the Loch Ness Monster. This leads to disagreement and loss of faith, and much more hands-on detective work than ever before. The fight to prove their theories once and for all rested solely on scrap metal and a Pritt stick, can it be done?
Using a large screen to impart images familiar to us all, and with a script littered with song titles, lyrics, puns and ridiculous ‘alternative truths’ this hour long show delivers at least a giggle in every line. The audience was laughing along from the outset as this ‘mockumentory’ indeed mocked. The one or two moments where those on stage needed to stare at the ceiling, floor, or anywhere (as long as it wasn’t in the eye of their companion), in order to find composure, simply added to the amusement and the show never faltered in pace.
Having sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe last Summer, this debut show is hilarious in places and just outright funny all through. With a new ‘series of investigations’ set to hit the stage soon (again under the direction of Joseph Hancock) this should not be missed while you still have the chance. I for one can’t wait to seek out the next ‘Tibetan’ instalment of ‘Great British Mysteries?’
Reviewed by Joanna Hinson
Great British Mysteries
Soho Theatre until 19th May