American Poodle

This intelligently staged performance exposes the funny side of the ""special relationship"" between Britain and the USA

archive review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 18 Aug 2007
33329 large
102793 original

As the audience take their seats, I look around to discover that I am the youngest person here by about 40 years, and begin to wonder what kind of show I'm in for. What follows is an intelligently written and staged performance which aims to expose the funny side of the "special relationship" between Britain and the USA. Split into two sections, each taking the form of a lively and articulate monologue delivered by a Brit (Guy Masterson) and a yank (David Calvitto) respectively, American Poodle provides an entertaining ‘show-down’ between the two sides, clearly benefiting from good timing (considering our international state of affairs) which certainly secures bums on seats.

The British half consists of an amusing account of the history of this relationship spanning 400-odd years. The audience’s attention however is ensured not by the script itself but by Masterson’s vibrant stage presence and his versatility to alternate between regional accents. The second half sees an American businessman’s first visit to the capital and his ignorance and awe for English heritage, the Magna Carter, and London’s spacious taxis. An amusing theory of the ultimate take-over of America by its population’s “expanding behinds” gains the chuckling approval of an easily pleased audience.

Overall though, the jokes and jibes at the expense of both nationalities are too easy and belong in the routine of an average stand-up comedian. However, the two halves of the play complement each other and the audience leaves satisfied, which makes me wonder if this is predominantly entertainment for the older generation.