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Pluck - The Titanic Show
Published on Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Physical comedy and classical music: two genres you’ll rarely find in the same sentence, let alone on the same stage.  But with their Titanic Show, classical trio Pluck have crafted an almost-unique form of tuneful slapstick, reminiscent of – dare we say it? – those famed musical numbers from the great Morecambe and Wise.


At least, that’s what we decided when we caught this show at 2008’s Edinburgh Fringe.  The paper-thin plot – a woman dresses up as a man and stows away in a cello case on board the doomed liner – does little more than link together a string of set-piece sketches; but the sketches are so inspired, that's all it needed to do.  Highlights we enjoyed include a tap-dancing peanut, Rule Britannia with party poppers, and a bravura attempt to put up a deckchair… while playing the violin.

Pluck are, first and foremost, talented musicians – but we hailed them as “masters of physical comedy” too, with a repertoire “ranging from subtle expressiveness to full-on slapstick”.  The gags are cast from a couple of well-tried moulds, as they either ruin a piece by playing badly or carry on oblivious while all manner of mayhem happens in the background.  But if that renders the punchlines rather predictable, it only makes them all the funnier.

We have to add one footnote of doubt about the Brighton show: the line-up’s changed since that Edinburgh triumph, and we haven’t had a chance to check out the new cast.  But time and again, Pluck have proved themselves accessible, affable and very, very funny.  We foresee no icebergs as they steam their way towards another successful Fringe.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.