Thursday, October 6

War of the Worlds (On a Budget) – theSpace@Surgeons Hall (Venue No. 53)

Guffaw. Chortle. Grin. Giggle. Take your pick. You are guaranteed to leave this show with a Cheshire Cat smile.

Lamphouse Theatre’s Tom Fox and Becky Owen-Fisher bring contagious joy and silliness to HG Wells’ War of the Worlds (on a Budget) with songs, dance and incredibly silly physical theatre… oh, and there are delightful homemade props.

The child inside will love this infectious, playful condensed classic. There’s a nod to Monty Python’s screechy voiced, Eric Idle, a plethora of characters and a bucket-load of improvisation jokes. The sense of immediacy on stage leads to an anticipation of anything could happen at any time. The urgency is brilliantly uplifting.

I loved the match an action to every phrase sequence. It’s a bread-and-butter improvisation game. Here it’s jam on the freshly baked loaf. A long-haired man with expressive eyebrows and a wink to sincerity adopts a selection of hats. It’s wild caricature acting just for your entertainment. It’s a delight to behold. The whole thing is creativity on speed: song; dance; puppetry; voice overs. It’s a mad mix which means heaven on earth for dafties, young and old.

Anyone who loves silliness will love this.

While the age range is 12+, it’s inspirational for a younger audience who will marvel, as I did, at the pace and breadth of clowning and costume changes. The minor sexual reference will be lost on them, and Fox’s frenetic energy will infect their imaginations in a wholesome way.

Audience participation is part of the package and, judging from this audience, it was greatly enjoyed. Inclusive, zany and tailored to each audience, what’s not to love about Lamphouse Theatre?

Based in Peterborough, Lamphouse Theatre tours panto-style productions in the south-east and runs the occasional youth workshop. Their home-grown absurdity makes it both endearing and chortle worthy. It’s a very British kind of humour.

Tom Fox (admirably supported by Becky Owen-Fisher) is a Duracell powerhouse. Get your Fox for the day at theSpace@Surgeon’s Hall (Venue 53).

Playing until 27th August, ticket information and more can be found HERE!

Reviewer: Kathleen Mansfield

Reviewed: 7th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★