Political satire can be hard to pull off, it you get it wrong and the jokes and social comment miss the mark they lay there like a bowl of forgotten custard. With Michael Head’s very apt and extremely topical ‘piss take’ of a show, The Sword and the Dope which is also directs we get more than a joyful bowl of custard we get a whole trifle full to the top with gag after gag where his opinion on the current stare of affairs in the world including all aspects of behaviour are put across by a string of punchy quips and put downs that garnered the belly laughs that resonated from an audience that were actually agreeing with everything he was saying via a cast of actors that like a troupe of bawdy wandering minstrels were hamming it up, corpsing each other and if there were any echoes of once being part of any am dram society, that was welcomed and enjoyed. Think Spamelot meets Drop the Dead Donkey and you will understand what this show is all about and what it actually achieves, Set in the times of the court of King Arthur and the battle between the rich and privileged and the poor and the peasants, this is a frivolous, fun and frolics romp that compares those times to now and the fact that in reality nothing has really changed. Head lampoons all aspects of society with great skill and with star turns coming from Allan Scott Douglas and the posh narrator, Stevi Ritchie as the hero Casey, Afton Fay as Merlot the drunk Wizard and a short sighted prophet and scene stealing his own scenes. Michael Head has put together a brawling farce and pantomime that thoroughly entertains and with lines of dialogue such as ‘i ‘m not gay and the reply , Oh please you open your mouth and a rainbow fell out’ This is clever nonsense but at times nonsense serves as a way to get the more serious message across.
4 stars runs to the 1st October, Waterloo East Theatre, Brad Street London SE1 Box office 020 7928 0060 waterlooeast.co.uk