Monster Loony Raving was a brand new work of theatre from Theatre Royal Plymouth looking at the life of Screaming Lord Sutch. Combining live music and a plethora of British cultural references this was a brilliantly inventive piece of new writing.
From the chap who wrote ‘The Vote’ for the Donmar, James Graham has written another extremely clever piece of theatre. We follow the young Lord Sutch and his journey to all the various constituencies in which he stood for election. His constantly changing identity is paired with the maddest and funniest bits of British TV history, which otherwise have no relevance at all to the Lord Sutch story. On a comic level, however, they are all completely mad just like Lord Sutch and his Party. We have ‘Allo Allo’ at one moment and ‘Ab Fab’ at the next. Other interjections come from Punch and Judy, Tommy Cooper, and the famous sketch about class with John Cleese and the two Ronnies.
A cast of multi-talented actors covered plenty accents and instruments bringing this show to life. Samuel James was brilliant as the lost yet ambitious Lord Sutch whose sad end seems to have been forgotten by most. He’d been a manic depressive all his life and the loss of his mother lead him to commit suicide. The rest of the cast, Vivienne Acheampong, Joe Alessi, Tom Attwood, Joanna Brookes and Jack Brown were all exceptional.
Despite the comedy and the panto style of this piece, a very clear message came through. Despite the stupidity of the Monster Raving Loony party they provided a bit of grit in the system. You always need someone to stick two fingers up at the establishment.
Highlight of the piece – the ridiculously farcical bedroom scene!