The Dark Party
Gothic sideshow for the Top Gear set
This article is from 2009.
Unsure of whether it wants to be physical comedy, gross-out sideshow or gothic visual poetry, this unique hour just about delivers on all three fronts. Shep Huntly, Patrick Bath and Gordo Gamsby (collectively The Dirty Brothers) are dressed in Beckettian rags and wear the kind of corpse paint Tim Burton likes putting on Helena before doing wordless routines ranging from the endearing to the sectionably masochistic. About the latter, they’re pretty serious with weighted nipple clips and car batteries featuring heavily and this might (and does) attract a certain audience more animated by Top Gear than by alternative comedy.
In its defence, The Dark Party is not just live torture porn. All three performers are above-average pratfallers, the production is slick, and the less physically insane sketches are just as memorable as the pain-based ones. Still, though: nipple clips and car batteries?
The Jim Rose sensationalist aspect of the act is always going to overshadow the comedy, and there are more squeals and groans of horrified empathy from the audience than real laughs.
Underbelly’s Hullabaloo, 0844 545 8252, until 29 Aug, 10.40pm, £9–£12 (£8–£10).