Art,  London

Badass Be Thy Name review, Police Cops | New Diorama Theatre

With a prop budget of probably £20 or whatever they could find in charity shops, Police Cops deliver an unpredictable, laugh-snorting hour that’s full of weird characters (think Mighty Boosh), laugh a minute punchlines (think Airplane!) and parts that are downright plain stupid (think talking butts…).

From the award winning comedy group who brought you Police Cops and Police Cops in Space, comes their undoubtedly next critically aclaimed hit, Badass Be Thy Name.

It’s 1999 in Manchester and Tommy is fed up with his call centre job. Time to get smashed and out of his face on drugs to the soundtrack of 90’s rave then! But the appearance of something other worldly sends Tommy on a curious adventure into the unknown.

At no point throughout the hour did I know where the story was heading. And that hour seemed a lot longer. In a good way.

An inventive and energetic physical comedic performance, Police Cops get through a tremendous amount of plot points, fight scenes, ‘costume changes’ and choreographed numbers. I could have happily watched them for another hour.

Next comes spoilers so stop reading here if you don’t want to know any more!

Badass Be Thy Name begins in Trainspotting style; in the 90’s, bored at work, drugs and clubs. That is until a vampire with with legs that look like two penis’s (but definitely aren’t) flies in.

From there, the story gets increasingly farcical including the devil having never tasted candy (which they somehow manage to turn into a recurring theme to the very end and still be funny).

You’ll also notice many tropes from your favourite films along the way like a dad who never stuck around. Police Cops even borrow some well known movie quotes.

Relying heavily on props, it’s like they’ve raided a seven year olds toy chest. They’ve unleashed their inner child too. Crawling babies, pop up bat wings, devil horns, a remote control car, a neon flashing hula hoop acting as a portal to another dimension, socks as swords, the board game Operation as a flashback to an operation during the war…

And I haven’t even mentioned the use of action figures to depict an escape scene from the devil’s prison involving an elevator made from cardboard and a zip line.

If Badass Be Thy Name was a movie, it’d be like Guardians of the Galaxy or a Tarantino release where the soundtrack is as infamous as the movie itself.

Whether it be classic 90’s rave, Oasis or Cameo’s insanely catchy Candy (which would find itself top of the charts once everyone had seen this), combined with unexpected and quite frankly impressive choreography for a comedy.

This was an Edinburgh Fringe preview show and there were mistakes, missed lines and much laughter from the trio, but it only added to the comedy and if anything fitted in with their style, improvising and getting a laugh from the audience.

If you’re going to Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019, Badass Be Thy Name has to be on your ones to watch list.

Rating – 5/5

Looking for more farcical fun on stage? Read my review of the stunning one man show Wolf by Lewis Doherty and the hilarious Operation Mincemeat by Spitlip

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