Schizo-frenetic film noir parody
This article is from 2010.
Ben Roe walks across the stage, takes a seat, and releases what sounds like a gentle stream of water over the strings of his acoustic guitar. The audience barely has time to admire his fluid virtuosity when Joe Bone’s voice yelps out a prologue from off-stage, before acting out a classic film noir scenario: the nervous stool-pigeon gets caught by the bad guys. Moments later, Bone peppers the ceiling with a hail of bullets from an imaginary tommy gun, spelling out the word, ‘Bane!’ (For those wondering how we’re expected to read imaginary bullet holes, Bone helpfully reads it out in a great ‘cinematic voiceover guy’ impression).
The pairing of the two talents is perfect: Roe stays perfectly still but for his liquid fingers, unobtrusively accompanying the acting, narration and sound effects that are all provided by Bone. Characters are created out of thin air, and remain firmly established thanks to the vivid physicality and uniquely distinguishable voices attributed to them. Of course, everything is overblown – villains are grotesquely disfigured scum with non-descript foreign accents, and Bane himself is a perma-cool, cigarette-smoking tough guy – but it’s utterly faithful to the film noir genre, showing great affection for the source material (while throwing in a few other references as well). At £5, it’s an utter steal – and there’s enough time to grab a bite to eat before heading up the road to catch Bane 2! (Niki Boyle)
GRV, 226 0000, until 29 Aug (not 23, 24), 5.40pm, £5