After selling out at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, I was glad to catch Great British Mysteries? on their first night at Soho Theatre – particularly since it stars one of our very own 2016 Funny Women Awards finalists, Rose Robinson. It certainly didn’t disappoint! Billed as being perfect for those who like mysteries, I’d recommend this live mockumentary to anyone who appreciates ridiculous puns and out-there conspiracy theories.
Olive Bacon (Rose Robinson) and Dr Teddy Tyrell (Will Close) are our hosts for the evening, taking us through their Top 10 mysteries as voted for by us, their TV viewers. We’re catapulted through a series of tongue-in-cheek conspiracies, including the uncanny resemblance between Zane Malik and Joseph Stalin; how Richard III became the nanny to the two princes in the tower (Richard is represented onscreen by Disney’s Quasimodo); and even the ultimate conundrum that is how The Feeling got to number one.
Robinson and Close play their kooky characters as well-built caricatures. Robinson is full of vivacity as Olive, who believes unquestioningly in every unlikely conspiracy (evidence shmevidence). In a touching contrast, Close brings a lovable vulnerability to the self-doubting Teddy, who can’t even remember to open his eyes in the morning without his sidekick there to remind him.
Using music that feels like it belongs in an Alfred Hitchcock film, as well as (very) dramatic lighting and video gags, every element does its bit to bring out the laughs in this hilarious parody. The main storyline of the play is revealed when we’re introduced to the duo’s number one mystery, the Loch Ness Monster. Bringing a story element to this spoof TV show is a great way to up the ante, but I do feel it was introduced a little late on.
Whether you’re after a good chuckle or the answers to some of your favourite mysteries, Great British Mysteries? is guaranteed to provide you with both and plenty more. It’s a must-see and I can’t wait to see what this talented team comes up with next.
Great British Mysteries? is at Soho Theatre until 19th May.