Feb. 19th, 2012

reverancepavane: (cardinal)

Tonight was an opportunity to see the preview of the continuing adventures of Sammy J and Randy, the occupants of the share house at 37 Rickett's Lane. The Inheritance is their third show together, the other two being Rickett's Lane and Bin Night. I actually like the preview shows of this duo, because when things go wrong they have great improv skills (and like all previews, especially with complicated moveable sets, things will go wrong). Although admittedly, this time they didn't bring the house down. It's one of the joys of live performance that each show is subtly different, and that these things do make the performance live.

For those of you who have yet to encounter them, Sammy J is a musical comedian of no small skill, whilst his house mate Randy is a purple puppet, obligingly operated by a mostly invisible Heath McIvor. It is no small measure of Heath's skill that the audience is soon relating to Randy as an individual in his own right. In fact such is Heath's skill Randy easily manages to perform his own solo show without a human sidekick (Postcards from Randy) and is set to do so again this Fringe (Randy is Sober).

Anyway, knowledge of the previous adventures of Sammy and Randy, beyond the fact that these housemates have been long-time friends (a fact soon explained in the opening numbers), isn't required to enjoy The Inheritance, for the two housemates discover that Randy's rich Uncle Edgar has mysteriously died, and the two travel to England to deal with the estate. As with all the Sammy J and Randy comedies, things rapidly spiral out of control, but in the end the friendship of the duo overcomes all odds (as you know it will).

As hinted in my introduction, the staging is quite complicated but admirably suits the performance. The cast was enlarged by some additional Heath McIvor puppets, some of which were quite incredible. There were, to my mind, no real breakout songs this year, but then I have rather eclectic musical tastes anyway, and all the songs that were included were perfectly suited for the show. The important thing is they played to a packed house (and the Umbrella Revolution can hold a lot of people), who thoroughly enjoyed it. One word of advice, if you are short you may want to sit further back as much of the action is performed behind a shield on an elevated stage, and the front row is close enough to wince at some of the action.

And if you do go, and you are tall, sit in the front row and wear vampire teeth for the final number. I'm almost tempted to go back and see it again just to do that.

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Ian Borchardt

October 2012

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