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Tortoise V Hare – Spike Island Café, Bristol

Reviewer: Tim Wright

Living Spit duo Howard Coggins and Stu Mcloughlin are back with their unique blend of comedy, music and rhyme. This time they’re re-telling the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. However, for this version we’re in Wrington running club. The club star – the brash, book deal wielding bully Barry Hare – is challenged to a running race by Toby ‘Tortoise’ Gollop.

Toby isn’t a natural athlete and gets plenty of laughs berating those runners we all know that post their runs on social media and can’t resist liberally dishing out advice, however unwanted. Down on both his luck and confidence, he is foolishly goaded into racing a marathon again the club champ.

Told entirely through rhyme and song, Coggins and Mcloughlin dash frenetically through the story, swapping outfits and parts faster than you can say ‘ergonomic water bottle’. Both performances are delivered with a knowing silliness that is appealing in the informal setting of the Spike Island café.

Like your favourite pint of ale or sinking into your favourite armchair, there is something comforting about Living Spit’s low-tech storytelling. It sets out to entertain and does so in bucket loads. There is genuine chemistry between the two performers that puts the audience at ease and allows them to slip past the odd awful joke or awkward rhyme.

It’s the kind of show that plasters a big fat smile on your face from beginning to end and heaven knows, there’s a need for that right now.

Runs until 4 May 2017 | Image: John Coe

Reviewer: Tim Wright Living Spit duo Howard Coggins and Stu Mcloughlin are back with their unique blend of comedy, music and rhyme. This time they’re re-telling the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. However, for this version we’re in Wrington running club. The club star - the brash, book deal wielding bully Barry Hare - is challenged to a running race by Toby ‘Tortoise’ Gollop. Toby isn’t a natural athlete and gets plenty of laughs berating those runners we all know that post their runs on social media and can’t resist liberally dishing out advice, however unwanted. Down on…

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The Southwest team is under the editorship of Holly Spanner. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.