Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Nothing you needed or ever wanted to know about computers, presented in the zaniest, most interactive, hilarious 45 minutes you are ever likely to experience …
Matt and Richard are the List Operators … and they present lists … Lists of things they know about computers, what they like about computers, games they play on computers … all presented in a 45 minute show that is guaranteed to make you laugh just as much as it is guaranteed NOT to be educational (although I learned a neat trick with Mentos!)
With teamwork that would leave most sportspeople back in the changing room, this duo present a show that has been written for “males, females and emails aged 5-5000 terra-bytes with Robots allowed”. The writing pays homage in some instances to the slapstick comedians of years gone by … for example, logging in to the computer with Matt’s username and password cleverly resembles the Abbott and Costello “Who’s on first” routine, there’s a banana routine that could easily have been done by Laurel and Hardy, and fans of the Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis partnership will probably see many similarities throughout as Matt takes on the convincing role of a naughty child, and Richard, the more sensible of the two (that’s probably why he wears the glasses). Richard tries hard to control Matt’s attraction to trouble, his nose-picking, his wearing of skid-marked undies, and anything else he can think of, and all this has the children in the audience ROFL from the word START (FART!) “Yes, it’s that kind of show folks” as Richard informs us several times.
And it is in this manner that the team lead us on a fantastically madcap journey through all things computer. The set, a giant computer desktop, allows room for icons to be added as each new section begins, and with the area behind the set actively used for props swaps and costume changes, the pair work their script seamlessly with the help of a technician on lighting and sound.
Breaking the fourth wall in this show is continuous, and the interactivity involves both the adults as well as the children … Pong 2D is a match with parents vs children, and Pong 3D is fabulously insane as the entire audience takes part! The ‘World of Woolcraft’ quest (basically the same as the ‘World of Warcraft’, but with extra RAM) has Richard riding through the audience on his trusty steed Justin BeeBaa … and the penultimate battle being as the hero rides through Princes Street with the Princess on a unicorn fighting off an alien attack … again magnificent insanity as the entire audience becomes involved.
This is a show that has been written and structured to perfection so that it involves every member of the audience and keeps them focused and involved for the full 45 minutes (and wanting more!). If there was a Wikipedia entry about how to write and perform a kid’s comedy show, this would be the show to define it.
Five stars: Outstanding