Men Behaving Badly review

We stepped back to the 1990s with the latest production at the Forum studio theatre, a recreation of the classic laddish sitcom “Men Behaving Badly”.

Directed by Andy Jordan and James Radhi of RJ Productions, the show recreates 3 episodes of the sitcom which originally ran from 1992-98.

The first instalment serves as an introduction to the characters, who all manage to evoke the spirit of their TV counterparts. There is even a recreation of the opening sequence, shown on a TV screen , complete with the catchy theme music. Of the 4 leads Rob Lyons stands out as the childlike Tony, but is the interplay between the characters that stirs the play on, as the opening segment has a minimal plot. A VHS message to Dorothy filmed by Gary and Tony includes scenes filmed on Brook St and adds a touch of Chester magic to the proceedings.

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In between the scene changes, pop songs from the 90s play and add to the sense of warm nostalgia. The play takes us back to a simpler age, when people didn’t stare at their phones all night in pubs, and a round of drinks cost £1.95. Its also a reminder of how attitudes have changed  , with some of Tony’s actions being slightly creepy, a scene featuring a lead character sniffing another’s discarded knickers would unlikely to be transmitted today !

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The show steps up a gear with the middle instalment, featuring a Rave and some great physical comedy as Tony competes with a student for the affections of Deborah. Finally “Watching TV” ends the show, and was the highlight for me. Time has moved on and Tony and Deborah are now a couple with Tony now “feeling like a King”. Featuring the cast mainly discussing an episode of Star Trek (City on the Edge of Forever for the fans amongst us)… whilst they wait for a pizza delivery. The cast rise to the occasion and by the time the theme tune plays at the end , complete with dancing, memories of Neil Morrissey and Leslie Ash etc are put to one side.

Men Behaving Badly is a light hearted look back at a simpler age and  references to the 90s abound from The Spice girls to Carol Smilie.With great chemistry between the cast , it will have a great nostalgic appeal to many!

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Catherine Bryant (Deborah) Rob Lyon (Tony) Chris Jones (Gary) Alison Pritchard (Dorothy)

. The show runs until the 5th March. Details at www.tiptopproductions.co.uk

 

All pics Copyright (c) 2016 Mark Carline www.markcarline.co.uk

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