FestivalsReviewSouth East

BRIGHTON FRINGE: Do the Thing: The Made up Musical – The Warren: The Burrow

Reviewer: Simon Topping

Do the Thing (Simon Plotkin, Tim Meredith and musician Ian Anderson) are here to rock the crowd with a made-up musical. Different every night, it promises to be an entertaining evening of mirth and merriment.

Meredith hobbles onto stage on crutches for this performance, he has been in Accident and Emergency all day after doing himself an injury. Dosed up to the eyeballs on strong painkilling medication, he assures the audience that his acting tonight will be nothing short of surreal; an oath which he delivers on as the improvising continues.

After a cheery song where the boys interrogate several members of the audience as to why they came to see them, adding their answers into the tune as they go, Plotkin kicks off the evening by asking the crowd for the name of potential musicals so they can improvise a song from the title alone. The best of the three suggestions is Dudley Rocks, the Midlands answer to Brighton Rock, where multiculturalism triumphs over monoculturalism. The woman in the room confesses she only suggested it to see the lads struggle with a black country accent. Plotkin, however, nails the dialect and adds three more accents in to spice things up a bit. Meredith gloriously fails. Both are very funny in the scene and it finishes to loud applause and a swelling of hearty giggles.

Standing quiet in the corner, strumming out the vibes, very much the Silent Bob of the outfit, is Anderson. The only four words he utters in the night are to announce the title of the full musical the other two are to play out this evening, taken from audience suggestion. The Fern of Fear, he exclaims, going back to his guitar duties. The fact he blends so seamlessly into the show displays great skill on the part of Anderson and says much for the well worked structure of the piece.

Both Meredith and Plotkin are fine improvisers, always keenly attuned to each others movement. They are natural clowns and while Plotkin is not the best of singers, both can easily carry a note well and act out the musicality perfectly.

Plotkin impishly frustrates Meredith in several parts, getting him to sit down whilst on crutches, turning into an ant colony at one point to creep him out and generally being obtuse. This all adds to the fun and produces roars of laughter from the gathering.

The plot develops from the title; it becomes a fight between hidden Druids in a forest threatened with destruction from modern man and has a downbeat ending which is greeted with glee.

Do the Thing are a talented three-piece, worth a watch, often hilarious (even when slightly worse for wear on drugs) and always entertaining; one of the best musical improv troupes on the circuit.

Reviewed on 1 June 2019 | Image: Contributed

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