Pros: This could be the next new comedy to hit the West End.
Cons: The six-strong cast deserves a bigger stage.
After a failed attempt to steal the column from underneath the statue of Nelson in Trafalgar Square and a pod from the London Eye – using nothing but a chisel and hammer – clumsy crook Ashley Lancaster (Toby Skelton) is in for a new challenge. Currently considered the 303rd most wanted man in London, he’s aiming for the first place and, to succeed, his next feat has got to be epic.
The opportunity arises when art collector and far relative of Leonardo da Vinci Henry Huntington-Hornsby (Pete Rapp) bribes the French authorities to obtain the Mona Lisa on loan and take it to his fancy London gallery.
Helped by his niece Trigger Happy (Katy McEntee) and two of her criminal friends, Lancaster sets out on an overnight mission to snatch the painting, when he realises that someone else might have had the same idea.
Chad Porter and James Darby’s well-polished new comedy is sharply directed and – although not taking many risks in terms of plot and structure – offers 60 minutes of carefully crafted sketches and relentless role-play. Slapstick and play on words are animated by an extremely talented cast, who sweat buckets whilst running on and off stage, with a myriad of costume changes.
Shining amongst them is Daniel Gee, whose impersonation of news presenter Reginald Squint is one of the highlights in a solid hour of belly-aching laughter. His impeccable comic timing and the well-articulated range of characters he portrays on stage are astonishing.
With its accessible content and lively pace, I urge this play to transfer into a larger venue, where the stage could better accommodate the physical components. One of my favourite comedies at this year’s Fringe, Framed! is the second Edinburgh outing for Norwich-based company Laughing Mirror, after a successful run in 2017 with Guy Fawkes It Up! This is definitely a young company to watch closely!
Co-writer and Director: Chad Porter
Co-Writer and Assistant Director: James Darby
Producer: Laughing Mirror Theatre Company
Box Office: 0131 510 2386
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/framed
Booking Until: 18th August 2018