Britain's Got F*ck All Talent! 2013

Fri 2nd – Sun 4th August 2013

reviews

Shirley Halse

at 07:45 on 4th Aug 2013

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This show is evidently drawing large crowds already, as an entire new front row was set up and filled as the compère, Liam Withnail, opened the show. With the task of warming up (or appeasing) the crowd, Withnail soon found several individuals to target, particularly a couple of Americans who had the misfortune of replying to the question ‘so who’s come from furthest away today?’.

The cheap shots about nationality provided a tone that would continue with the four different ‘talent’ acts who subsequently graced the stage. Comic moments resulted not from intellect but rather an absence of it. The packed audience seemed to love this. Haha bums! Lol condoms! GENITALIA ROFL. But it really does depend on your taste in comedy as to whether you find this stuff side-splitting or brain-numbing. There’s something of the marmite effect to it.

It’s also worth observing their suggestion for ‘suitability: 16+’ on account of “some adult content and sexual material”. Honestly, it’s fairly exclusively adult sexual content – from the hugely flamboyant singer/sexual predator JellyBeen Martinez’s obsession with sausage to Amanda Murfitt who works at the GUM clinic ‘informing’ us about STIs. Seriously though, hide your kids (hide your wife) unless you’re totally comfortable with them witnessing an ex-children’s TV presenter addicted unfunnily to cocaine with a deeply unhealthy sexual lust for his puppet.

There is also a re-enactment of a ‘Shakespearean’ courtly love scene, with a cross-wigging role played by a member of the audience – although, to be fair, gender swapping is an essential staple of the Bard. Audience engagement seems to be one of the main reasons for this show’s popularity. I mean who doesn’t enjoy watching their friends being ridiculed, especially live on stage?

In spite of the show’s ridiculousness and absence of intellect, Matthew Ellis performs with energetic enthusiasm. It is part of the point, I presume, that the ‘talent’ acts are kind of awful. It’s certainly a bawdy crowd-pleaser, but is definitely not to everyone’s taste.

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Costanza Bertoni

at 10:12 on 4th Aug 2013

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True to the name, ‘Britain’s Got F*ck All Talent!’ demonstrated that Britain, or at least Liam Withnail and Matthew Ellis’ vision of it, had a very scant amount of talent indeed. So, if you’re expecting a tummy-tickling parody of a cute 14-year-old comedian, or a shadow dancing troupe, winners and runners-up of the 2013 ‘Britain, actually has, Got (some) Talent 2013’ show, you are very wrong. A word of advice: stick to the advised 16+ suitability rating, unless you’d consider full frontal plastic nudity appropriate.

The performers of the show were the presenter, the acting coach Mr Hadrdcastle, JellyBeen Martinez a sex-crazed pop star, the impressionist Amanda and the children’s presenter Papa Marmalade. Quite a circus of characters, that on the whole, pushed parody to an excessively crude, and pointless level. Performing sexual acts on a puppet with plastic gloves on stage, is not entirely within my humourous tastes,

Although it seemed to be a crowd pleaser, I felt I laughed less at the actors and more at the interacting audience members, amongst which the lively Amanda, the striker of the Hull football team, appeared to be the true star of the show. It has to be said that the wild audience was at times well-handled by the somewhat irritated actors on stage, however, is this something that they should be prepared for if they list their production as ‘interactive’? I will let you decide.

Mostly to the detriment of the acting quality, the interactive aspect of the production was also strangely, possibly one of its redeeming features for the people watching it. Presented with green and red cards that allowed us to decide who was allowed to pass onto the next round, and often many of us cowering in our seats at the prospect of being chosen to ridicule ourselves on stage, either by dancing to JellyBean’s pornographic music video, or reading a debased form of Shakespeare, it made it the key attraction.

I’m not sure whether the aim of the production was to ridicule the television show by using humour that was quite frankly out of the gutter, or lower. But what I do know is that unfortunately, as to whether they are passing onto the next round, I’m firmly waving a red card.

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