Crybabies: Danger Brigade
Crypt – The Vaults
Reviewed – 10th March 2020
“the chaps are good entertainment for sixty minutes, and the one liners fly fast and furious”
Danger Brigade is the amiable presentation of comedy trio Michael Clarke, James Gault and Ed Jones, otherwise known as the Crybabies. In this fast paced piece, which is set during the Second World War, we see our not-so-intrepid heroes sent off on a mission to Nazi Germany to try and neutralize a demon Rat King, who is of course, set on world domination. Skipps McCoy (Clarke), Porky (Gault) and Chester Daggerboot (Jones) are all deeply conflicted characters with a shared past that they (and we) discover as the plot unfolds. Porky has apparently been left as a baby on the steps of government offices in Westminster, and raised to be a cleaner with a mop as his best friend; Skipps McCoy is an soldier and avid football fan who doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice his child and marriage to the game; and Chester Daggerboot is the suave master of espionage and only child of a doting father. Or is he?
The plot has more twists and character reveals than your average espionage farce, so I’ll simply say that the chaps are good entertainment for sixty minutes, and the one liners fly fast and furious. They step in and out of character (and costumes) with lightning speed (often behind a simple black backdrop that is also used for projections and lighting effects.) The sound effects are played for laughs as well. There’s more than a hint of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in the accents, the dead pan humour, and the earnestness as things begin to fall apart. But fans of this kind of exercise in nostalgia will find themselves wishing that the writing was a bit sharper, and the jokes more original. The trio show themselves to be masters of inserting exposition as they ricochet from scene to scene, but the joke wears thin after a while.
Nevertheless, Crybabies have a devoted following, and their energy and charm is infectious. Each actor has a distinct style, and the comic ensemble plays on their physical differences to great effect. Recommended for audiences who like to discover new talent. Crybabies will be an interesting company to watch.
Reviewed by Dominica Plummer