Breakneck tour through history of comedy makes head spin

The Reduced Shakespeare Company
The Reduced Shakespeare Company

Having tackled such huge subjects as the Bible, the full works of William Shakespeare and western civilisation, the trio of performers known as “the bad boys of abbreviation” took on the world of comedy during their Eden Court Theatre show.

Starting in prehistoric times,the Reduced Shakespeare Company ran at breakneck speed through thousands of years of laughter, with subjects such as the classic, why did the chicken cross the road gag being delivered by everyone from Greeks to vaudeville performers.

Based around a storyline relating to an ancient Chinese book that contains the secrets of comedy the performers dealt with a huge variety of subjects such as a fear of clowns, slapstick, double acts and fools.

The show was extremely fast paced, slick, and with enough costume changes to make your head spin, but the humour lacked edge – perhaps I’ve just been spoilt by the excellent home-grown comedians which have dominated the comedy scene of late, but it seemed rather tame

It was without doubt clever, and paid homage to everyone from the Keystone Cops to Friends, but it was  the sort of clever that prompts a quiet smile rather than a belly laugh. While there were laugh out loud moments, they were too far apart to make this show become a comedy classic unlike their previous outings which I’d certainly recommend.