Reviewer: Matt Forrest
Comedians Alex Lowe and Daniel Skinner have separately appeared in some of Britain’s best, and much loved television comedies. Lowe having appeared in The Fast Show and Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, while Skinner has done guest slots in The Office Christmas specials and The Armstrong and Miller Show, it would be fair to say these two have a pretty impressive CV between them. However, in September 2014 the two teamed up to perform a weekly podcast as their alter egos: Barry from Watford (Lowe) and Angelos Epithemiou (Skinner). This award winning podcast saw the two give their take on the world where the conversation would take a turn for the strange and the bizarre. In the spirit of their podcast shows the two comics have brought their Angelos and Barry: The Power Generation to the Lowry Quays Theatre.
Before the main event, we are treated to an insight into the world of Barbara Nice: Barbara as in Barbra Streisand and Nice as in the biscuit. Nice is a northern housewife, proud of her roots and with a fondness for a charity shop. Nice takes us on a journey through the wisdom of Take A Break magazine and a look at the tragic celebrity deaths of 2016, firmly convinced that Prince who was a Jehovah’s Witness knocked at her door two weeks before his death and she didn’t let him in. This leads into a good sing-along and a dance workout, courtesy of Nice’s neighbour, Mrs Kahn. Comedian Janice Connolly has created a fun, brilliantly silly comic character and was the perfect way to start off a very silly night of comedy.
Following the interval we are introduced to Barry an octogenarian with a purpose, he, along with Angelos is on a quest to offer spiritual enlightenment and make the world a better place. In addition, Barry needs to find his missing £3,000 and Angelos needs curing of his sex addiction and to find a date. What follows is a journey into the bizarre and absurd world of Angelos and Barry. We are treated to a few song and dance numbers: including a rather up-tempo take on Chopin’s Funeral March, a visit from beyond the grave by Carry On stalwarts Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams who have developed a slight Jamaican twang in the afterlife. All this leads to the show’s big finale, which with a little help from a very brave lady from the audience sees all loose ends tied up.
Imagine,if you will, if the Morecambe and Wise Christmas specials would have been if Eric and Ernie had been taking LSD at the time of making the shows and that would sum up Angelos and Barry: The Power Generation perfectly: good old-fashioned, harmless silly fun. Some visual gigs, moments of slapstick and some very silly visual gags the show has something for everyone. Both Skinner and Lowe do their best to get the desired laughs out of the audience and at times do the best to try ‘break’ each other (on this night Lowe clearly won this duel). It was a pleasure to see two comic comedy performers having a ball and having as good a time as the audience. This show may not provide the spiritual nirvana it set out to do but will sure give you a bloody good night out.
Reviewed 30 October 2016 | Image: Contributed