An aging pop star, a bored and cantankerous host, a weary show-runner, an ambitious ingénue, and a sarky sidekick - characters galore in Janski Productions Get Got combine to make a 25th anniversary chat show never to forget.
Preston Quick (the ridiculously perfect-for-the-role Patrick Ryan Sullivan) is trapped in a 50-year contract and is aching to act out live on air. Which he does, in spectacular fashion. In the meantime, the producer and show-runner are trying to pick up the pieces, and there are some pretty big pieces.
Not a traditionally musical show, more of a show featuring music. The action is the star here, and while there is a bit too much high drama, the acting is fine, the jokes are groan-worthy, and the music slickly enjoyable.
A Theory Of Justice
Wonderfully articulated (and often competing) political philosophies face off in A Theory of Justice, a love story surrounded by anything but sophistry, from DEM Productions, in cooperation with Oxford University Dramatic Society.
The love story is complicated because the hero can't seem to argue his way into his beloved's affections, and the hilariously over-the-top villain - whose paramour is the selfish Ayn Rand - dogs his every move.
A few weak performances and perhaps a too many heartfelt songs apart, the company handles the complex philosophical arguments put forward by the likes of Sophocles, Rousseau, and Hobbes and Locke. A great bit features these two Enlightenment greats, battling it out for intellectual supremacy a la West Side Story. Whether you know your philosophy or not, you don't leave the show a know-nothing.
The Tom Show - The Grand Tour
Club Rouge Cabaret Bar
Tom Balmont has a bunny guinea pig whom he tortures on stage, but don't worry, it's a fake. You might sit there wishing Tom himself was a fake after seeing what he then puts himself through. A juggler, card trickster, quick-quipped, and small hipped, Tom Balmont is a fun and funny guy.
His schtick is one of nervous pessimism, and though some of the gags are foreseeable, it is a solid one that works in his favour. You genuinely cannot see where most of his tricks are is going, and there was palpable fear in the audience during the penultimate act of The Tom Show, which worked so well that one actually fears for his safety.
Sometimes his earnestness works against him, especially in audience interaction, where all it takes is an aggressively dubious punter to put him off his game, if only by a smidgeon. But he is undoubtedly a talented performer and magician, and great company for a night of (nervous) laughter.
All runs ended