EFR - Reviews of Regeneration Game

Regeneration Game

Thu 2nd – Sun 26th August 2018

reviews

Amy Barrett

at 09:16 on 9th Aug 2018

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I still have no idea why the show needed a fully-grown woman to be dressed in a giant hot dog costume, and it turns out that ‘The Delightful Sausage - Regeneration Game’ was as wacky as its costume choices. Every person in the venue howled with laughter throughout; bar me. Despite the show not being my cup of tea, actors Amy Gledhill and Chris Cantrill made me feel welcome to express my genuine opinion by frequently stating that their show is “fucking niche.” It clearly wasn’t niche to their audience this afternoon, as The Free Fringe production’s buckets were ringing with success at the end of the show. Whilst it wasn’t my thing, it was a testament to good comedy.

Plot wise, there wasn’t too much of a narrative. However, this is not a criticism of the production and instead a definition of The Delightful Sausage’s style of writing. The basic storyline follows Geldhill and Cantrill as members of the Precinct of Wider Ickleton Community Saviours striving to make their declining hometown the next UK City of Culture. Yet the dialogue is made up of more gags than exposition. The comedy used was usually topical; I often found it to be cheap humour, especially the line referring to the hot dog costume as a very ‘extra’ burka – but my opinion was outnumbered by the fully immersed crowd.

I will commend Gledhill and Cantrill for their self-awareness throughout the production. With some comedies it is vital for the actors to be immersed in their character, but the success of ‘The Delightful Sausage- Regeneration Game’ comes from the fact the actors are laughing as much as the audience. Frequently Geldhill howled with laughter alongside the audience which made her performance endearing to watch; observing someone thoroughly enjoy themselves performing really summed up the essence of the Fringe for me. Moreover, both actors were very aware they were not the highlight of The Fringe’s shows on offer. The line referring to Cantrill’s performance – “you wouldn’t think he’d been to RADA would you…he hasn’t “ – gained laughs from cast and audience alike. The Delightful Sausage’s production was confident in itself which undoubtedly explains the show’s success.

Gledhill and Cantrill had most of the audience (I think I was the only nay-sayer!) eating out of the palm of their hands. Audience participation took no pity or bribery and almost every line was echoed with genuine laughter. ‘The Delightful Sausage- Regeneration Game’ sums up the real meaning of The Fringe; the actors and audience enjoying theatre together.

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Anna Marshall

at 12:48 on 9th Aug 2018

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The lovely sausage is very free fringe. Grab yourself a pint (the show's at midday but hey, they don't judge), and head to the backroom of the bar for an hour of silliness to wake you up for the day. Think woman in thirties dressed like a giant hotdog, and man who whacks out his belly for a casual Mr Tumnus impression.

Using the setting of a village Neighbourhood Watch meeting, this is a comedy duo clearly familiar with the small community vibe. Set somewhere not in a city and without much communication with anything contemporary or cosmopolitan, Amy Gledhill and Chris Cantrill celebrate the joys of knowing all the local gossip, befriending all the odd balls and never leaving home. If you're sick of a pretentious Fringe, come along and witness the duo try to explain firstly how to pronounce culture, and secondly why they reckon they’ve already got enough of it.

Their confidence with the audience is admirable and their sheer enjoyment is infectious. Don’t sit front row, or anywhere really, if you don’t want them to talk to you. The pair themselves are well aware they’re a bit daft; there’s many a slip-up and an oo-er moment, and they wholeheartedly admit at one point that, yes, this show’s a bit “f***ing niche really isn’t it”. This is crude, lewd and often rude but essentially warm hearted and celebrates the comedy of our rural communities. There's a joke that one of them went to RADA: they're proudly amateur, and their jokes are hit and miss. Credits are definitely due for an impressive Ian McKellen sounding voice-over, accompanying some mildly funny Microsoft powerpoint skills. However, they command the room with jolly vigour and just let us have a good laugh – what they do is simple enough, but they have achieved making some wholesomely old-school comedy.

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