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BRIGHTON FRINGE: The Net Kill: The Warren – The oil Shed 

Reviewer: Simon Topping

By Incognito Theatre 

In the late reign of Queen Victoria, someone wealthy has died.  That someone is the Duke of Gloucester, the inventor of Badminton, and the death of an influential figure cannot be ignored.  Gloucester  has been ripped to shreds by a beast and the Queens agents are looking for badminton players that land in the sweet spot of stupid yet recklessly brave to solve the murder and vanquish the creature.  Enter our protagonists;  Five friends from London who win the London and South East badminton tournament.  They are driven, yet simple.  Relatively easy to  manipulate, they are ready for the challenge, and are persuaded on the quest by the lure of titles, estates and money. Will they be able to vanish the beast and save their beloved local pub from shutting down with the reward money?  We are about to find out. 

The Net Kill is a fabulous piece of physical comedy.  Each performer brings their own unique  characterisation and embodied movement to the piece.  

With skill and practice the synchronised movement is often hilarious and always raises a big laugh in the room. The use of hard hitting rock music from acts such as ACDC, Led Zeppelin and Queen is nicely done and accompanies the fabulous movement as the boys firstly battle “The Fops” for the badminton crown and later the beast for their lives.

The badminton scenes are frenetic and precisely timed for maximum comedic effect. The cast move with effortless ease; an effortlessness that only comes with precisioned practice. 

There are some lovely sequences along their journey.  The troup playing local Gloucester men is particularly funny as is the characterisation of the Queens agents who dupe the team into fighting the monster. 

Written and devised by the performers under the name Incognito Theatre, this is rapid fire comedy.  The script is detailed and the interaction between the performers an intricate affair.  Considering the group have not performed in fifteen months, it’s amazing to watch, with only one or two fluffed lines in the whole piece. 

Underneath the very funny comedy and the throwaway surrealist lines, the show has a lot to say about male friendships, such as sticking together is the best plan, everyone in a group has their place and usefulness and sharing is better than bottling feelings up.

Above all The Netkill is a wonderful hour of physical comedy performance which delights and thrills the audience.  At every stage the crowd is rocking with laughter and right to the end the piece is engaging and fun to watch.  This is a must see for fans of fast paced silly comedy.  

 

Reviewed on 17th June  

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