Boris & Sergey's Vaudevillian Adventure

Pleasance Courtyard

Theatre Reviewed by Thom Dibdin

Boris and Sergey are Slavic brothers on the run, a pair of vulgar and irascible Bunraku puppets, originally created by Richard Booth and Henry Maynard. The duo are currently performing late night cabaret, where they hang out with their audience, make many scurrilous remarks, perform a couple of their trademark routines and end up on the run.

The key is the personality of the pair, each manipulated by a trio of puppeteers. Tom Kirk, Kim Scopes and Elaine Hartley create a domineering older brother in Sergey. Richard Booth, Samantha Arends and Louisa Ashton's cheeky, furry-fronted Boris is quick to get out from his brother's thumb.

Such tricks as cycle riding, a nicely slanted deconstruction when Sergey interacts with manipulators, and Boris's Kate Bush impersonation - to Wuthering Heights - are real crowd-pleasers. But it is the off-the-cuff movements, remarks and elements of audience interaction which indicate a truly impressive level of co-ordination between the performers.

Henry Maynard's trick green baize performing table is packed with tricks and surprises. Flabbergast could take it further, though. For all the cheeky actions and impressive puppetry, the improvised dialogue could have an extra edge. And while the finale is worked smoothly in - with the arrival of the Dark Ones sniffing around for their prey - it still lacks finesse.

Published online
Review by
Thom Dibdin
Produced by
Flabbergast Theatre
Director, Designer and Puppet & prop maker
Henry Maynard
Running time
1 hour
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