Spymonkey dick about
Spymonkey’s Moby Dick is like an extended Goon Show. The whole gamut of funny voices, sexual innuendo and awful puns/jokes is rolled out like a third-rate 'Carry On Whaling' script. There’s that old English favourite; the Spanish waiter voice (for Ishmael read Manuel) the rather forced clumsy oaf (Stephan Kreiss), the Barbara Windsor dolly bird (Petra Massey) and the posh bloke (Toby Park). All of this dicking around the stage like am/dram idiots is just wearing. The writing is that of a second-rate extended sketch and when one of the cast finally shout ‘There she blows!” I couldn’t wait for Ahab to sink without trace. Some of the audience seemed to be having a whale of a time, but let’s be honest, middle-class theatre goers are easily pleased these days. By the end I’d had less of a bellyache from laughing than a bellyful of this nonsense. What was the point of it all?
Brighton & Hove Council have given this lot money and they've received 100% of the Arts Council money they applied for. What's going on here?
I have a half-baked idea on this. The reason this company are so popular down here in the south east is that they're quintessentially middle-England in avoiding politics, controversy, seriousness and, to be frank art. It's like resurrecting Brian Rix and farce - all that physical theatre, puns, confusions - signifying nothing. This is why middle-England just loves the Goons, Cleese and Noises Off. They're inoffensive and unthreatening. You don't have to think.