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Cult of the Wrong
Published on Thursday, 10 May 2012

5 stars

The Nightingale (venue website)
6-7 May, 9:45pm-10:30pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Suitable for age 18+ only.
 Warning: Contains strong language.

After a festival opening weekend where the Two Wrongies were simply everywhere (and delighting everyone), I think it’s fair to declare them a Brighton Institution. And the excited crowd who packed The Nightingale to see this scratch performance of new material evidently wouldn’t disagree. We were all clearly fans of their first offering, the triumphant World of Wrong, but the thrill of new material from the Wrongies mean the bar downstairs was buzzing for this sold-out show.

And the show began in the bar. Before we even got into the theatre the Wrongies were there, leaping on tables and knocking over drinks, readying us to move upstairs into their realm. But my heart sank when I saw the space set up as an empty black box, without a chair in sight. I’d been standing up all afternoon at another show, and all I wanted was to sit down and be entertained. So how the Wrongies got me doing lunges and running around to Yakety Sax, better known as the Benny Hill theme, is a mystery I still haven’t quite solved.

Cleverly the interactive show works as a sort of workshop, or a meeting of a secret cult, referencing the success of the last show by letting the audience learn their secrets. It’s playful and rough at the edges, offering more improvisation and – if you can believe it – more personality and engagement than their first outing. A couple of timing and tech issues were dealt with neatly, and are easy to overlook in a first try-out for the piece.

The finale, celebrating acts of “wrong” offered by audience, had me frowning once or twice. The device was mostly charming, but at one point where I felt I was being asked to applaud a mean-spirited act of vandalism that might have had unknown consequences. This portion of the show needs some extra thought, as it’s easy to see how celebrating the “wrong” things the audience have done could go a bit, well, wrong itself. But this was just one small section of an amazing devised experimental show – and the level of creativity and fearlessness was consistently exceptional.

The filmed interludes were genuinely, shockingly hilarious.  A stunt that involved filming the audience, then playing back the film, worked so well and with such unexpected poetry it was hard to believe this was a brand-new venture.  With such brilliance and chutzpah, the Wrongies showed there’s still nothing to match them in the world of comedy, dance… or whatever this actually is.  More please!

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.