James Campbell's Onomatopeia Society III & Spinistry of Moonerism
Double helping of Campbell comedy
This article is from 2007.
James Campbell is, deservedly, at the forefront of the children’s comedy scene and his shows will always attract a loyal following, which makes the slight flatness of this year’s offering confusing. Alongside the popular Comedy Club 4 Kids, he’s written two plays that run simultaneously, with entwined storylines and a shared cast.
The Spinistry of Moonerism (****) is led by the phenomenal Janice Phayre, whose wonderfully bemused ‘teadheacher’ is a revelation, alternating between comedic brilliance and heart-wrenching vulnerability. This is a delightful show, set in a school for those that wix up their mords, with very cute pupils Dog and Cat charming the socks off the audience from the start.
On the lower floor The Onomatopoeia Society III (***) concentrates on the Vegetarian Amputation Project, starring comedian Glenn Wool, whose main role seems to be exuding charm and moustache. This room never seems to find its feet and feels oddly stilted, as the concept (amputating animals’ limbs, so vegetarians don’t feel guilty about meat) is never really explored enough for younger audience members to get a hold of. It’s still a funny show, with lovely songs and great performances, it’s just not outstanding.
The plays are clever, but Campbell appears to have concentrated so much on the ideas that he’s lost something in entertainment value. (Siân Bevan)
Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 27 Aug, 3.40pm, £6–£7 (£5–£6).