Mike Gilhooly and Rich Luke

The sock puppet cop drama is by far the most successful element

★★
archive review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 02 Aug 2007
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100487 original

It's billed as an on-stage battle between three very different shows: an apparently straight performance of Romeo and Juliet, a death-defying circus clown act, and a Miami cop drama starring two sock puppets. All three 'shows' are played out energetically by comic duo Mike Gilhooly and Rich Luke, and there are some funny moments. Overall, though, this plays more like a sub-standard sketch-show than the anarchic free-for-all that it wants to be.

The sock puppet cop drama is by far the most successful element. Undoubtedly, the star of the show is Mr Truthful – a fast-talking, hard-ass maverick detective played with conviction by Gilhooly's hand. Mr Truthful's interplay with his loyal but put-upon partner, played by the rest of Gilhooly's body, is skilful and raises some titters. When the puppet is forced to pull the man's body from the stage after a shooting, it feels like the comedy may be going somewhere.

Sadly, the rest of the show can't match this. The outcome of the clowns' stunts is predictable, and Luke and Gilhooly don't quite have the dexterity to pull off the mime and kazoo blowing which account for much of their antics. The Shakespeare element is an attempt to tie things together and to provide some Fringe satire, but provides no laughs in itself. It is hard to fault these lads' energy and enthusiasm, but it needs to be invested in better material than this.