Forbes Masson’s show Crackers split the Belgrade audience last Christmas: one can see why. ‘An anarchic slice of musical madness’, it has a gloriously shambolic supermarket set by Lily Arnold, a designer with a keen eye; quality Lighting (the Belgrade’s Glyn Edwards), a racy cast with more talent than the show deserves, and a ponderous flow of gags, intermittently funny.
Daniel Curtis shines as the put-upon anti-hero, magicked out of his checkout job for some wild, unleashed cavorting. Mark Prendergast is overbearingly adorable as the Edinburgh-accented, Dame Edna-lookalike, mobility scooter-bound good fairy, Barbara Cadabara (get it?). Owen Aaronovitch is too seasoned a serious actor to make much of the devilish, gynocidal, scarlet dad, though he stokes up the surreal rather well. Claire Dargo is a joy as the bright lass with the pert nether regions.
The script’s endless reliance on dirt or expletives (spunk, shitty, shitloads, crapping, rectum, balls, bollocks, ‘cut off his cock’), is frankly infantile, and prevents a better defined, more teasing script from emerging. This starts promisingly, and within 20 minutes enters a slow decline. Gordon Dougall’s production does have some funny visuals; Scent de Coventry is one of the better quips. If only there were more like that.