Peepolykus, Horses for Courses

Review in Issue 10-3 | Autumn 1998

This is another in a run of hits for the Peepolykus team of John Nicholson, David Sant and Javier Marzan. For this comic outing, the boys present a Gala Evening of Siberian Entertainment. There are all the usual Peepolykus trademarks: the company wander the auditorium swapping comic banter as the audience enter; there is the customary food fight (this time potatoes are flung about the stage); there is the predictable poorly-made set; and the gags are structured around the usual play on words, deliberate mis-hearings and misunderstandings.

The parallels with the Marx brothers and Morecambe and Wise have all been drawn before, but in this show these influences seem to be even more in evidence. This is both the company’s strength and their flaw. They are brilliant at this style of madcap physical comedy, but how much longer can they keep selling us the same gags? The team need to develop the formula rather than just keep rehashing the same routines. There is no doubt that they are a funny and talented bunch, but they are in great danger of becoming a parody of themselves. Is Nicholson always going to be the butt of Sant and Marzan’s jokes? Is Sant always going to be the loud one and Marzan the one with the dumb smile? They are falling into a predictable pattern.

That said, this is still brilliantly entertaining. The highlight is the send-up of Chekhov which runs throughout the show. Each performance of the scene gets more and more ridiculous. Peepolykus have a great physical presence and a tremendous energy. However, this is no longer enough in itself. The comedy ‘accidents’ around which they construct this show are starting to look contrived. The ideas are not as original. If you want an entertaining evening out, catch this show. But don’t expect anything as original as the company’s last two shows.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 1998

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-3
p. 22 - 23