Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

MEET THE QUEEN OF PONTYPANDY

Mischief Movie Night

Kenny Wax and Stage Presence Ltd. , New Theatre Cardiff , July-18-18
Mischief Movie Night by Kenny Wax and Stage Presence Ltd. The packed house almost seemed to have been prepared for this quick fire show. Certainly they were well up for it all as soon as the lights went down and the main man ‘Oscar’ started to introduce the show. He immediately established a brilliant comedy rapport with the willing audience. Things were to be quick moving; an hour and a quarter show with no interval. Everyone both on stage and in the audience were all having such a good time that on this opening night the mayhem continued well past that.

Behind Oscar stood that excellent troupe of performers who had previously given us and Broadway The Play That Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong! And several other, very lively, ‘Wrong” productions.

The audience was asked to suggest, well shout out, themes and places etc. from which they would improvise a film. The favourite place to emerge was Pontypandy, the hometown of Fireman Sam; he didn’t come into things but there was some fire in the shop, Bella Lasagna. This Italian dish became one of the central characters.

From more yelling from the vociferous audience it emerged as a King Fu Disney Film with chain saws. Quite an eclectic mix but this experienced team was well up for it. Straight off with a big, introductory song and dance number with amazing, instant improvised music from Yshani Perinpanayagam and Ed Zanders.

A big guy with a beard seemed to be taking the leading role that could have just been because he was bigger than all the others. Eventually he was to fall in love with a princess who lived high up in a tower but he had quite a hard job getting up there. He was not expected to rise above his station. Nor was anybody else as the ‘story’ progressed. His uncle offered to help him. The chaos made it all quite difficult to keep up with. I think this guy also played the Lasagna using a bright red towel. There was also a cute Koala Bear who was later required to bring about his own downfall.

The fourth guy, with his French accent was a green French flannel that he manipulated frequently. It eventually became a flying carpet and took the princess and her ‘lover’ on a tour over the heights of Pontypandy. They had a soft landing. The second female member of this fantastic, lively team had a go at a Welsh accent then gave up despite her applause from this wild audience. They kept on roaring with laughter, I have never known such non-stop fun.

Clearly these six wonderful performers enjoyed and appreciated each other’s work, the improvisations sprung dazzlingly across from one to the other, to everyone’s mounting delight.

From time to time Oscar seated in a corner of the stage would stop the action and call for a replay of the scene throwing his own improvisation demands at his actors. These they quickly filled in, more laughter, then back to the main theme.

It was all quite amazing and a total delight. I felt I had met some very funny new friends. I’d like to introduce you to them. Go down to the New Theatre to find them yourself – they’re there till Sunday afternoon. You will have more fun than you ever thought possible. They make the impossible – possible! You could even join in the chain saw juggling.




Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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