ADC

With a solid cast and some brilliant scenarios, not to mention tampon-confetti, an appearance from Leonardo DiCaprio (and Daniel Day Lewis!), and an array of French pastries, this sketch-show begins the Lent ADC season with the well-needed belly laughs to expel the otherwise cold January blues.

Openly admitting that the theme is a half-hearted one, and merely a framing device, the show is ballsy and honest, and not as serious as all those Agatha Christie connotations may lead you to believe. The murder mystery arc gives a continuity across the show, and allows the notion of distinct disorientation to seep slowly into the audience. This effect is caused by the repeatedly spot-on sketches that recognise everyday things that we miss until they’re presented right in front of us: the ridiculous diet fads, the rhetoric of documentaries, and most memorably, the barely-talented, just out of teenagehood boys who get their guitars out all too often. This allows for a variety of mediums to be used, including fast-paced dialogue, mime, and song, which means the show never loses its pace or wittiness. Toby Marlowe’s musical accompaniment fits so well that it almost fades to background – but never quite, especially when in combination with Ruari Bride on his guitar.  Occasionally, lack of punch-line or rushed delivery meant that some sketches just faded out, missing ever so slightly the perfect end, but a laugh was always to be heard.

Stand-out performer Enrico Hallworth graces the stage with confidence and never fails to portray a convincing character, most notably his self-assured, but ultimately wishy-washy, marriage guidance counsellor. His fellow comedians are unafraid of boundaries: religious clashes, the Daily Mail’s notoriety, and audience participation. The latter, while it seemed to have many shrinking into their seats, awkwardly avoiding eye-contact, in the hope of not having to leave their seat, worked well, as the cast’s responses were quick, but I remained glad I didn’t come under Bride’s ruthless police investigation. Nor his portrayal of a bare-armed American redneck – beware the pun(s – there’s plenty of them for all those who like to work for their comedic appreciation!)

Murder on the Disorient Express is a late-show worth the next day sleepiness, missing only some polish, which is, more often than not, usually its greatest appeal. This isn’t a murder mystery but something else completely – a showcase of Cambridge’s late night wit and sharpness.

Murder on the Disorient Express is showing at the ADC from Thursday 14th - Friday 15th January 2016 at 11:00pm.

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