Jay Richardson meets sketch show tyrants turned widescreen comic madrigals, The Penny Dreadfuls

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aggressive Victorian amhition. are hatching a

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lidinhurgh this Atigust. Beginning vvith sorties into Scotland this l'ortnight. 'l‘he I’ennv Dreadfuls will Prcwm an curl} glimpse ol their second lull- length drama. confounding expectations hv discarding the Victorian settings and sideburns that established the red—blooded. hlue-hlooded Aeneas l5aversham and his l{mpire—hestriding dvnastv across the l‘ringe and vvireless.

Instead. David Reed. 'l‘hom 'l'uck and llumphrev Ker. vvho met in Mill in lidinhurgh l'niversitv's theatrical troupe 'l‘he lmprovetts. are penning an ‘over the top‘ contemporarv thriller that sounds like Jason Bourne in 'Ioml lv’m-u/l directed h_v Allred Hitchcock. revolving around ‘a rather large and sinister conspiracv‘ sa_vs Reed. ‘that might endanger the ver_v future of Britain‘ ll}'[)L‘l'l)0lC.\' luck. The trio appear entirely motivated by revenge.

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Reed '\\'e vveren't going to do the hinge this _vear hecause vve vvanted time to cotne up vvith a nevv idea. 'l‘hen vve decided to ~iust vvorls harder. 'l‘hen. alter the_v‘d discovered the_v'd have the competition again. l’app}‘s l‘un ('luh sent its a hamper lull ol' turds.‘

Ker "'l'he} occasionall} Use the ollice here too. so vve‘vc erected a plaque to them. 'l’app} 's l’un ('luh had their comed_v career here. 2(X)7_2lltl.\".' Tuck 'Wc thought it vvas a good idea to ntalsc nemeses ol' people vvc actuall} like. The nature ol~ heroes and adversaries is that vou spend a lot ol' time together. hattling each other on top ol' buildings and rescuing vour respective \llelek\..

Ker ‘()r doing shitt_v gigs together in puhs'.

l'ollovving several spectacular (Til-enhanced BBC 3 appearances. the l)readl'uls rccentlv returned to their improv roots touring lingland alongside Marcus Brigstocke and Phi” .lupitus in 'I'om/lv Loo/ml. vv here the} duhhed live commentarv onto old lilm lootage. Alter the transler ol' their BIK' 7 shovv. ’I'ln' Brother-v l'in'crv/ium. onto Radio 4. the group are reluctant to ahandon Victoriana l‘it‘s not going to he put dovvn like an aging Labrador] remarks Reed) and have high hopes lor a third series. vvith potential nevv characters including a gent-thiet and a l'emale lead. a signilicant departure tor a group that suhscrihes to the grand British theatre tradition ol’dragging tip at ever} opportunitv.

Ker 'I hate it became it alvva_vs puts the in mind ol‘ a rughv cltth.'

Tuck ‘I love it because it puts me in mind ol‘ a rughv cluh. But then I‘m much more helievahle than _vou tvvo. even vv ith a heardf

Ker ‘I had to do it l'or a pantomime once vvritten h_v these tvvo. 'l‘hev forced me into a dress.‘

Reed ‘You vv ere (iandall the (irevl‘

Ker ‘l vvas (iandall' the (ire_v in a gre_v vvedding tlt'essl‘

The Penny Dreadfuls play Gilmorehill G12, Glasgow, Thu 26 Mar.

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MARCH 12-29 i‘fl FESTIVAL TICKET HO‘I’LINE “21 7‘." H : .~


Twelve jokers. 12 jokes. the best introduction to them you could ever need. Compiled by Claire Sawers

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