ComedyPulse FestivalReviewSouth East

PULSE FESTIVAL: Boris & Sergey’s Preposterous Improvisation Experiment – New Wolsey Theatre Studio, Ipswich

Reviewer: Paul Couch

Potty-mouthed puppets are big business at the moment on the theatre circuit. Hand To God, Avenue Q, and, for Irish readers, Podge and Rodge, have been turning theatres’ air blue with a string of politically incorrect and sometimes breathtakingly smutty patter. Now, the uncrowned kings of the genre, Boris and Sergey, are back and off the leash for another round of no-strings fun.

For the uninitiated, Boris and his brother, Sergey, are leather puppets brought to life by the skilled puppeteers of Flabbergast Theatre. In this latest iteration, Boris & Sergey’s Preposterous Improvisation Experiment, the brothers are a little tamer, not quite as foul-mouthed as we’ve seen previously. As the title suggests, it’s an hour of improvised comedy, some parts more entertaining than others, but what is so startling is how quickly the puppeteers – who aren’t exactly inconspicuous – all but fade into the background, leaving the leathery siblings to run amok, picking on audience members and indeed their own handlers.

Both puppets have a role to play – Boris the stooge and Sergey the more dominant, and Sergey’s son, a miniature version of himself, even puts in a brief appearance before…well, that would be a spoiler but let’s just say “comes to an almost Shakespearean end”.

The cod-Balkan brothers are voiced by Henry Maynard and Dylan Tate, who are clearly sharp of wit as the dry, spontaneous humour and verbal pratfalls come thick and fast.  It’s a lot of fun but perhaps runs out of steam about halfway through, such is the nature of improvisation with a small audience.

Not at all a bad show but perhaps the improvised version isn’t quite as engaging as Flabbergast’s scripted work.

Reviewed on 10 June 2017 | Image: Contributed  |  @pulseipswich #pulse17

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