Pros: An hysterically funny comedy duo; amazingly well choreographed puppetry.
Cons: It may take a bit of time to lose yourself in the world that Flabbergast Theatre have created.
Boris and Sergey are two Balkan brothers who perform a Vaudevillian double act. Sergey is the more cynical, domineering and bossy of the pair. Younger brother Boris is the cute and furry one, naive and winsome, with an unshakable faith in Father Christmas. As a comedy duo, they fall into a long tradition of comedy double acts from Abbot and Costello, Ren and Stimpy and, dare I say, that other puppet duo Bert and Ernie.
Boris and Sergey are brown leathery puppets that are about two feet high with oddly blank faces. They look a bit like giant ants, except that they only have four limbs. They perform on a table in the middle of the stage, surrounded by their six puppeteers (three per puppet). I must admit that when the show started, all I could see were the six puppeteers encircling the table and I didn’t think I would be able to lose myself in the puppetry. I was also sceptical about how expressive Boris and Sergey could possibly be with blank faces. Yet, as the show progressed, I found that that the puppeteers had faded into the background, I only saw Boris and Sergey, and they were indeed remarkably expressive. The six puppeteers show amazing skill in successfully synchronizing their movements to operate the puppets. The show is the product of Flabbergast Theatre, a young company dedicated to innovative physical theatre.
True to the spirit of Vaudeville, Boris and Sergey entertained us with a variety of genres. They told silly knock-knock jokes and Boris took the stage for a hilarious dance performance of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights. For me, the highlight of the show was when the pair invited two audience members to participate in a crooked game of poker. There is also a nail biting high speed car chase, during which the puppeteers’ ability to choreograph incredibly realistic movements was particularly in evidence. Throughout the performance, the classic comedic chemistry between the two brothers is a delight. The audience was kept laughing throughout the hour-long performance.
One more thing: this show bills itself as filthy and twisted, indeed the word ‘FILTH’ is plastered across the poster. Truthfully, I was a little worried that the show would make for uncomfortable viewing. Sure, some of the humour is a little off colour, but honestly it’s not as smutty as Avenue Q or even the last panto I saw. It is just very, very funny.
Presented by: Flabbergast Theatre
Director: Henry Maynard
Box Office: 020 7978 7040
Booking Link: http://theatre503.com/whats-on/boris-and-sergeys-vaudevillian-christmas-adventure/
Booking Until: 11th January 2014