25 October 2018

Vulcan 7 at Richmond Theatre was very entertaining

For some reason I was not immediately attracted to Vulcan 7. Yes Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer were big names but, from my perspective, mostly from a fairly distant past of Young Ones and Bottom. Also my most recent experience of Edmondson was watching the filming of a very unfunny sit-com at the now defunct Teddington Studios.

Despite all that I had no real reason for giving it a miss so I duly booked my usual seat in Richmond Theatre, Dress Circle A25, for a modest £30.

It seems that my trepidations about the show were shared and while the seats were reasonably full it was nothing like packed.

With limited expectations of an acceptable if predictable comedy I sat back and waited to be entertained.

Vulcan 7 was funny. Very funny. Some of this was the expected verbal slapstick, such as the abusing of Daniel Day-Lewis' name with multiple swear words, but a lot of it was intelligent humour, much more BBC than ITV. I laughed a lot.

And as befitting the two actors that Edmondson and Planer were playing, there were lots of theatrical references, including one for local lad Richard E. Grant who I have seen in the audience at Richmond Theatre, and also some extended quotes from plays like King Lear. Having actors act as actors and talking about acting was a nicely played theme.

The story was good too. Not so much the story of their current situation but more the story of their long careers and relationship which featured custard in one memorable moment. Their story also intertwined with that of the production assistant who had to manage the two actors.

Vulcan 7 surprised me. I expected a simple comedy of simple characters and would have been very happy with that. What I got was much more than and that made it a thoroughly entertaining show.

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