Confusion and full frontal nudity: Funny Peculiar at the Richmond Theatre

Funny Peculiar playing this week at Richmond Theatre is probably the most perplexing production to be seen on a stage since Too Close To the Sun (it was a short-lived musical about Ernest Hemingway's suicide). The plot revolves around a small time grocer with a wife and a baby who is desperate for sex. Mike Stott's play was probably daring for putting fellatio on stage in 1973 and the shock of the original production was no doubt a distraction. Fast forward forty years and it really looks like a series of stock comedy scenarios straining for laughs. It lacks timing or purpose, and with its one dimensional characters comes across as just a little bit creepy.

It's not unwatchable but perplexing to think why it is on stage at all. The cast are gorgeous though and as the show plods along you feel real pity for the material they have to work with. And at times you fear they are going to injure themselves trying to get some laughs. Even Craig Gazey's flaccid penis is flopped out but it still falls a little flat.

Some members of the audience were laughing but it was hard to tell whether it was nervous laughter or just a determination to have a good time regardless. They are a bit like that in Richmond, and as two punters mentioned to us in the bar at intermission, a night out is a night out... And the theatre is lovely... But all told it is best considered a curiosity and a lesson on how not to write comedy. It runs until the end of the week...

@Johnnyfoxlondon and I eventually managed to record an Audioboo, after he left the theatre early to head to the bathroom... But to avoid any confusion the play is more a cure for constipation and less something to wet yourself laughing over...

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