Plenty of laughs at spy spoof

IF you are not into high brow theatre - if you like plenty of laughs and a bit of slap and tickle and if you don't want your theatre to be too deep and meaningful then this one is for you.

Spyski - Peepolykus at The New Wolsey until Saturday

IF you are not into high brow theatre - if you like plenty of laughs and a bit of slap and tickle and if you don't want your theatre to be too deep and meaningful then this one is for you.

The opening is a straight, if rather amateur rendition, of the Importance of Being Ernest which very soon descends into a fast paced, farcical spoof on Bond, MI5, and John Le Carr�.

There are Russian spies, genetically modified babies and undercover agents with a convoluted plot involving poisoning, shootings and dismembering which the cast get unwittingly caught up in while trying to produce a half decent play.

There is no doubt that this is a cleverly written and professionally executed production - the fast pace, multiple scene and character changes, comprehensive use of the set and imaginative use of props certainly put this one above any other spoof I have seen.

The audience obviously loved it - and there was certainly a lot of rapport from the cast of five.

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Working as a well drilled team they moved effortlessly through the twists and turns of the plot which very cleverly tied in with the story line of The Importance - although you did not have to be familiar with Oscar Wilde's masterpiece in order to enjoy this.

There was a tendency to overdo the sillyness at times, and some of the visual jokes were maybe a bit too gory but with a genuine witty script and such an ingenious use of sound and effects, they could be forgiven.

If you want to see the art of spoof at its best I don't think you could find a better production.

SUSAN HAWKES