American Vaudeville

  • 10 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

This show revolves around a double act who work their way up the bill, coast to coast, on the circuit (of the show title) which existed in its heyday from the 1880s to its steady demise with the advent of the talkies in the late 1920s. Whereas some acts such as Bob Hope, and Charlie Chaplin made the transition, the showbiz foray of our heroes, Chester & Plunkett, ended with the medium’s decline. Now my dilemma is in the fact that I am judging it on its merits for a writing award and, while the minimal dialogue has its moments, the fact is the show concentrates on the other main facets - slapstick, mime, songs and corny gags, all of which are performed with varying degrees of success. So the lack of dialogue is not easy to overlook. The bottom line is that while we can appreciate a bygone and more innocent entertainment age and wallow in nostalgia, ultimately it is just not engaging enough throughout. (Gordy McCue)

Pleasance King Dome, until 28 Aug (except 14), 3.40pm.

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