Edinburgh Fringe 2014
Questing Vole are back again with more silliness, following last year’s Carry on Sailor meets Captain Pugwash take on piracy with a completely batty look at American action comics of the 1950’s.
Professor H’s crack team of super, super heroes are out to fight crime – of any sort. But they are up against Professor Charm, a sartorially elegant sophisticate who uses his unique brand of oily insouciance to perpetrate a series of dastardly crimes. Is there no end to this capering criminal’s cowardly conniving? Will our super sleuths fall victim to this fiendish feline? Will the narrator finally get his sign boards the right way up and remember where we are in the script?
To explain the plot in any detail would result in a review longer than the average Wagnerian opera (some run to days, remember) so, suffice it to say, we eventually arrive at a (somewhat unexpected) denouement which ensnares the evil Professor and proves that homophobia in comic strips is badly misplaced. Any more details and would be a complete plot-spoiler!
With particularly strong performances from Mercury, a suitably mercurial goody, Shady, a wonderfully narcissistic masked upper class idiot and the aforesaid oily Professor Charm, this production had just enough momentum to carry it over the line and compensated for a bit of ‘plot drift’ at around the forty-minute mark. This trio was backed by some amusing caricatures including a bouncing boy wimp in stars and stripes underpants and our wonderfully loopy narrator, who also operated the comic style speech bubbles which appeared during each fight scene to some considerable effect. And if he did genuinely lose his way in terms of explaining the plot to us, then it added a rather sweet note to this hour of complete and utter silliness and mayhem.
With lashings of double entendre, innuendo and daring-do, this is just the short of ‘pick-me-up’ show that should grace any Fringe event. It’s silly, anarchic and things do go wrong on occasions. And the techie was so busy laughing that he forget a sound cue, so you know the entertainers pretty much nailed it.