REVIEW: Criminy, Lantern Theatre

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BRANDED a “unique style of silent comedy”, this is definitely something new and fresh in the world of theatre.

Evoking the silent movie era, something that has found fresh popularity through hit movie The Artist, Criminy is the tale of a bank heist gone wrong.

It indulges all the familiar silent movie tropes – background piano music and scene-setting cue cards – and manages to blend them almost seamlessly with the slapstick comedy also relevant to the genre.

While there are one or two points in which the miming is slightly difficult to follow, overall the three actors do a fabulous job in taking the audience along on their silent journey. Exaggerated facial expressions and gestures provide a fantastic substitute for dialogue and ensure the investment of the audience – something crucial in a silent play. The humour is on point and fits the atmosphere – a particularly inventive scene involving lasers is a delight, and many of the jokes receive laugh out loud reactions.

Delivering a bank break-in, a subsequent abseil down the side of a building and a gripping car chase, all silently and through the medium of expressive mime is really nothing short of impressive and that alone should be worth a watch. Add the talent and clear enthusiasm of the cast, and Sheffield’s Awkward Cough theatre company have really outdone themselves with Criminy. Anyone watching is sure to enjoy it.