The Bean Spillers – Camden Fringe, Hens and Chickens Theatre

Reviewer: Richard Maguire

Creator: Gigglemug Theatre

Camden Fringe has saved the best comedy for its final few days in the form of The Bean Spillers. This impro musical delivers laughs aplenty.

After asking audience members for their choicest cuts of gossip, Sam Cochrane and Alex Prescot launch headfirst into dramatizing the most scandalous contribution – in tonight’s case, a story about sugar daddies and sugar babies in Italy and France – into a comedy musical. Sick and quick, The Bean Spillers create a world full of song and intrigue.

With a special guest at each performance, no night can ever be the same and for tonight Showstoppers’ Ali James joins the proceedings. The trio, along with keyboard accompaniment from Jordan Clarke (star of the excellent Public Domain), present a hilarious story, with each of them thinking on their toes, about two villains intent on kidnapping a baby from an Italian orchard with help from a specially created app.

It’s mad, but the story is always clear and there’s great fun to be had watching each performer prepare for the next outrageous twist, frantically keeping up while trying to find a rhyme for the line they just sang. In the chaos the performers take on each other’s roles with forgotten accents and mislaid props, all heightening the comedy to dizzying levels.

Cochrane and Prescot have a ball with the material, almost goading each other to see who can come up with the silliest scenario. There must be some framework to keep them on track, but it’s pleasingly invisible to the audience. They also employ some physical comedy, too, with highlights being Cochrane’s helicopter and Prescot’s crying baby. Ali James does well to keep pace with the two men, and her quick wit is a joy to behold.

All the songs have their roots in musical numbers such as jazzy duets and stirring Les Mis ballads. They are performed in fine voice with even a few harmonies thrown in for good measure. Running at just under an hour this is the perfect show for the cocktail hour. And if they wanted to do a longer show with two halves and an interval, it would be most welcome.

Runs until 29 August 2021

Camden Fringe runs from 2 August to 29 August 2021

The Reviews Hub Score

Spills and thrills and laughs

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The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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