Funz and Gamez Tooz (4 stars)

This article is from 2015

Funz and Gamez Tooz

Traditional kids show with jokes aplenty for the grown-ups

The sleeper kids-comedy hit from 2014 continues its irreverent ways with Funz and Gamez creator Phil Ellis once more walking a tightrope which permanently threatens to snap under him. Alongside his often not-so-merry men Bonzo the Dog (always ready with barbs and scowls), Jim the Elf (a doe-eyed naïf who often appears to be in the wrong show) and Uncle Rick who has replaced his late identical twin Mick (his ashes are tastefully brought up on stage), Ellis throws together the elements of traditional children’s entertainment but underpins them with cheeky wit and sardonic asides.

Comments about ‘the spectrum’, ISAs, Grand Theft Auto and the late Keith Harris have adults sniggering into their sleeves, while Bonzo frequently courts a theatre producer in the audience as a means of escaping his nightmarish fate.

If all this sounds like you should be steering your little one well clear of this show, don’t fret: there are sweetie showers, songs, and games of Hide and Seek, Musical Chairs and Pin the Tail on the Donkey to keep them amused. Even if Phil (dubbed ‘north Manchester’s most reliable comedian’) does cheat at them all. ‘It’s not high art, is it?’ bemoans Bonzo. Maybe not, but it’s a charm riot for, literally, all the family.

Assembly George Square Gardens, 623 3030, until 31 Aug (not 25), 3.20pm, £9 (£7.50).

Funz and Gamez Tooz

  • 4 stars

Family entertainment and games led by Phil Ellis with his new girlfriend, along with Bonzo the Dog, Jim the Elf and Uncle Rick.