The five acts for this cabaret for four to tens were auditioned by children’s forum from East London’s Discover Story Centre. Grown-ups can therefore assume that the show is made up of everything that makes kids laugh. The mere mention of pants does, evidently, as that bloke in The Apprentice attested. Adults left cold can gaze fondly at their progeny’s delight.
Certainly the situation appeals to family groups. You sit at tables with refreshments bought in the foyer beforehand, surrounded by tinselly curtains and lit up by a mirrorball. Your host is Simon (Guy Dartnell), in a twinkly-lapelled cabaret jacket. He has an excitable, slightly breathless delivery and a stash of awful jokes. His nervous energy engages the children, but the first few acts he introduces earn a hesitant response. A crazed scientist who burbles on too long and a man in a dinner suit smashing watermelons are pretty much comedy-free zones, although children go mad for the melon slices handed round after this senseless attack on three innocent fruits. Heartier applause is earned by the neatly timed three-minute panto staged by Brian Lobel and Rachel Mars. The high point (literally) is the impressive balancing act of Simon’s brother Simon (Kwabana Lindsay).