DEATH SHIP 666
by Michael Patrick Clarkson, Gemma Hurley, Paul Clarkson.
Jermyn Street Theatre 16b Jermyn Street SW1Y 6SJ To 15 December 2013.
Tue–Sat 7.15pm Mat Sat & Sun 3.15pm.
Runs 1hr 10min No interval.
TICKETS: 0207 287 2875.
Review: William Russell 30 November.
A talented, energetic cast do their best to keep this spoof disaster show about a ship of fools heading for the ocean afloat, but it is in vain. It is a puerile affair, not so much undergraduate as lower sixth-form humour. The hit of the Edinburgh Fringe perhaps, but as one lame joke followed another one was driven to reflect how true the saying – what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; what happens on the Fringe should stay on the Fringe.
This is not to cast aspersions on the players, who work hard, play numerous characters each and shout far too much. Jermyn Street is a small venue and there is no need to bellow to get a line across. Shouting does not make a bad joke funny. Just loud. Sending up James Cameron’s Titanic is also really old hat.
There are, however, some pleasures on view, notably lanky Mattias Penman, who plays the man who designed the floating gin-palace. He has the most amazing mop of golden hair which has a life of its own, delivering a performance to rank along with those of such great tonsorial stars as Boris and Tarzan Goldilocks Heseltine. When Penman’s quiff is bouncing one cannot take one’s eyes off it. Such hair could go far.
Rachel Parris has some nice moments as Grandma – don’t ask – the heroine looking for love, Carrie Marx gets laughs as a child detective working out who the villains are who plan to blow the ship up, and the others are miles better than their material, which includes a silly running gag about bears that is not funny.
The show is slick, the voyage blessedly short, and it ends with a nice send up of one of the anthems from Les Miserables, but there are better ways of spending one’s time.
Grandma: Rachel Parris.
Architect: Mattias Penma.
Evil Rich Lady: Anna Morris.
Holly Hobby: Carrie Marx.
Captain/Electrician: Andrew Utley.
Evil Rich Man: Michael Patrick Clarkson.
Director: Michael Patrick Clarkson.
Designer: Jenny Gamble.
Lighting: Graham Broadbent.
Sound: Marc Specter.
Musical Director: David Roper/Jonti Oakley.
Choreographer: Katy Gault.
Costume: Diane Logel.
Props: Dorothy Melander-Dayton.