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Theatre Review: A Joke ****

Michael Cox reviews a production that's 'consistently funny'.

So, an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk onto a stage and…and…and…

And that’s about it.

A Joke isn’t’ concerned with character or plot but is instead interested in dissecting the anatomy of humour. The three actors—Sylvester McCoy, Robert Picardo and John Bett—each embody practically every stereotypical quirk associated with their given nationality (to say who plays which would give away one of the play’s first gags). These three find themselves stranded on a white stretch of nothingness and spend the time searching for meaning by trying to figure out what their punch line is.

It’s all very absurd and can at times feel like a theatrical inside joke itself, but the three have an excellent interplay with each other and a combination of word games and one-upmanship which makes the production consistently funny. Maybe the ‘joke’ wears thin a bit at times, but director Tony Cownie’s production is a treat from beginning to end.

A Joke is at the Assembly Rooms at 4.25 until August 26th.

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