Farce Noir Presents . . . The Big Sheep (4 stars)

This article is from 2013

Farce Noir Presents . . . The Big Sheep

credit: Steve Ullathorne

Joyously daft film noir parody performed with real vim and vigour

This delightful film noir parody features a quartet of comic performers on top form. Over a breathy hour the ridiculous plot covers the genre archetypes and clichés: the femme fatale, the maguffin, the incessant rain. It's not an original concept, but what sets it apart is a cracking script and strong performances all round.

Despite performing on what must be one of the smallest stages on the Fringe, the production fearlessly scales up for its absurd action scenes and, rather than stifling their invention, the cast adapt to its restrictions brilliantly. Less successful is a wraparound story about the four performers trying to secure the services of an acting agent. The whole 'play within a play' idea feels unnecessary but fortunately it seldom infects the rest of the piece.

The cast have unerring chemistry which brings a real spark to some of their zippier exchanges, and the script sparingly drops in moments of surrealism to great effect. This is a joyously daft show performed with real vim and vigour.

Underbelly, Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, until 26 Aug (not 13), 4.05pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).

Farce Noir Presents… The Big Sheep

  • 4 stars

Ditto Productions. The year is 1951 and Foot, a hard-boiled lost property detective, was about to be made over easy for a dame (not Judi Dench). Comedy meets love, love meets danger and danger already knows everyone in the fast paced, multi-character comedy Hitchcock would have made if he was a funny feminist who did…