Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Britain, Britain, Britain..."

Last night's performance of Little Britain Live was a triumph! Very enjoyable, but if you really want to see what you missed, the DVD of Little Britain Live is a great substitute, especially since the images of the performers on the Hordern Pavilion's big screens are like watching telly, anyway.

It was great to see all the great Matt Lucas and David Walliams iconic characters come to life - in real life. The performers were snappy, funny and had cleverly tweaked a few skits with some biting Sydney-, and Australia-, derived humour: Campbelltown, "Big Brother"'s infamous turkey slaps, and poor ol' Schapelle Corby (a friend of Vicki Pollard's, who's been strangely uncommunicative of late), came under fire in an squirmy, but crowd-pleasing, way.

Some friends and I had actually developed a theory about the first half's Des Kaye sketch on the DVD, whereby two hapless male audience members are seemingly selected "at random" to play a game of "Hide the Sausage". Both versions of the skit on the DVD involved the plain guy being almost-totally ignored by the amorous Des (David Walliams), while the Very Cute One turns red, gets kissed and groped - and inevitably loses his jeans, and has his bare bottom exposed to the audience (and in closeup on the big screens), in a rather lengthy sequence.

No doubt the cute guy was a pre-selected stooge. If our theory held, the guy selected would be wearing loosely-belted jeans - and, sure enough, he was. He did a fairly good impersonation of an embarrassed straight guy (or is that "a bare assed" guy?), although he did fluff the scene a little by claiming he was only "16, no 17 years old" - much to the delight of Des, but stretching suspension of disbelief a little too far. (And the closeups of the guy's rather peach-fuzzed bottom on the big screens seemed to suggest he was at least a little more mature than 17.)

It was still a very funny skit - "I should have tightened my belt", he adlibbed - and the young guy got a huge, second round of applause when he was picked out by the roving camera, supposedly innocently enjoying the end of intermission with his date. The guy got a third round of applause when psychiatric patient, Anne (as Whitney Houston, in "Stars in Their Eyes"; David Walliams again), slobbered all over his face during her wilder beserker moments.

Bubbles de Vere (Matt Lucas) in her latex nude fat suit, and cruel Marjorie Dawes (Matt again) - weighing a poor overweight "new member" of Fat Fighters, again chosen from the audience, but obviously for real this time - were wonderful. I really enjoyed the Tiny Dennis Waterman sketch, but mainly because I'd fallen asleep during that bit of the DVD a few weeks ago, so it was totally fresh to me.

Two other segments worked very well, I thought, because they were so off-the-wall: the Mr Mann buys paint sketch, where Matt and David totally gave up on the scripted performance for many minutes - and, after recovering from the wild deviation, started delivering the lines as each other, as if performing Lou & Andy instead! Later, in the Dafydd Thomas sketch leading into the finale, the two performers suddenly broke into a discussion of Matt's homosexuality - and then Matt, seemingly spontaneously, brought up David's oft-quoted media denials on the same topic!

"I'm not gay, but my penis is," David Walliams eventually shrugs, to huge shrieks from the audience. The informality of the performance had become so intimate, by this time, and so spontaneous, that I almost felt like they were guests making small talk at a dinner party at my place, after a few too many drinks.

The program - an almost mandatory purchase for me at any live show - was a steep $30, and I already had a miniature version of it that came with the DVD of this show. But... this program came packaged with sheets of character stickers, and its own mousepad, with humourless Carol Beer's catchphrase emblazoned across it: "Computer says 'No'!"

This reviewer says, "Yes!"

1 comment:

Therin of Andor said...

Have already heard an inevitable, standard, friend-of-a-friend rumour that the young guy pulled from the audience and pantsed by David Walliams on Tuesday night was not a "stooge" and was, in fact, attending with his girlfriend - and supposedly "humiliated" by his five minutes of fame. But I'm not believing it. (Especially since I can't imagine the logistics and luck in finding someone gregarious enough each night, with a coincidentally loose-enough belt and jeans, in the time allotted to bring a truly unsuspecting guy up on stage.) As I said before attending, and based on the two versions of the DVD versions of the skit, if you could be in the auidence every night, there'd always be an at least semi-sufficiently prepared "stooge" in that row, awaiting his fate.

After the time Dame Edna got sued for tossing a gladdie into a woman's eye, I think entertainers are a little more careful these days.