Event review: Townies at Theatre Utopia, Saturday 12th November

By - Friday 18th November, 2016

A Saturday evening on the silly side

Photo by James Bone, used with permission.

As readers of the Croydon Citizen, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how good Matthews Yard is for a drink. But it was my first time in Theatre Utopia, and it was a really great setting for an evening of comedy.

Townies is fronted by James Bone and to sum it up in a few words, it was an hour of pretty silly humour. Luckily I like that (and the audience clearly did too), so that was fine by me.

Think more Little Britain than Have I Got News For You. Funny voices. OTT costumes. Eccentric characters. Which means if you’re after satirical, cutting humour, it’s probably not for you.

The show consists of a set of short monologues from some of the characters that come by the Townie Arms in Croydon. To get you on the right sort of lines, one of them is an Australian man with bunny ears who digs his way here. We meet a few other characters along the way too (all played by James), with the pub’s cleaner, Margaret, doing a solid job of tapping in while he makes some quick changes. (There was something a little Catherine Tate-ish about her.)

James was funniest when he was more self-aware. He had people in stitches when he acknowledged a Status Quo cover band doing a soundcheck next door. And, for me, the other points where he was improvising were probably his funniest. (I’d watch him do an hour of that.)

If you don’t like being put on the spot, don’t sit in the front row

He also did an excellent job of getting the audience involved (and by that I mean getting more than one person on stage, more than once, and getting them to wear an array of props), without it feeling awkward. A word of warning then: if you’re not the sort of person who likes being put on the spot, maybe don’t sit in the front row.

James also made a small acknowledgment of the previous week’s Croydon tram disaster. It was a very nice, respectful touch.

So, if you’re after a light-hearted hour’s break, I’d recommend seeing Townies next time it comes to town.

Jess Bashford

Jess Bashford

Jess Bashford is a writer at a brand language consultancy and an English literature and creative writing graduate. She’s passionate about showing that Croydon is a great place to live and excited to delve into Croydon’s cultural side. She loves all things wordy and foody.

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