The League Of Gentlemen
Cambridge Corn Exchange, 30th October 2005

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

Following a rather disappointing third series and a pretty dire movie, The Gents are back on the road again. Sadly they've chosen to take the vast majority of the material used tonight almost directly from their third (pretty poor) series. The first half of the show is essentially loosely based upon sketches that will be familiar to most, but changing the odd line here or there just enough to warrant it being done onstage. Everyone goes apeshit when Papa Lazarou get's escorted onstage but then all that happens is he does the "psychic" sketch from way back in series two pretty much verbatim. It's not all shit though, there are a few original sketches thrown in (Les McQueen encountering his own death being a good example) but generally it's just re-hashed bits from the TV series. And also, some of those sketches are made significantly worse in the process. One of the few redeeming sketches from the third series was of the Doctor treating Mrs Beesley. In the series it was done in a very twisted way. Tonight it just resorts to base potty humour. Which actually seems to be the way most of the gags are handled tonight.

The second half of the show does actually improve things. This part consists of a pantomime using the characters of Royston Vasey. It's funny enough in places but it just doesn't seem like the League of Gentlemen. Really, it could be any collection of half-assed comedians doing it. Pauline playing Widow Twanky is actually shit your pants funny, but the rest was pretty cringeworthy. But not in a good way.

I remember the first time I saw The League Of Gentlemen on the BBC back in 1999 and thinking "Wow, fuck me, this is great!". And for a few years, it was. For me, The league Of Gentlemen should have stopped after the Christmas special episode. Now that was funny. It was sick. It was scary. It was different. Tonights performance however is just not. It seems like The Gents have finally run out of ideas.

Richard Bull


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