What do you get if you cross a practical joker, a 34 year old child, and an Easter egg-obsessed film nut with 200 rowdy kids (and grown-ups) at Colchester Arts Centre on a Saturday afternoon? Answer: one ear-splitting hour of brilliant comedy mayhem.
With absolutely no expectations we were really excited to find out what stand-up comedy for kids was all about. My son, Albert (8) was hoping it wouldn’t be all terrible cracker jokes “like Grandad’s” and my daughter, Dulcie (9) was keen to see some visual comedy, “because that’s what makes me laugh”. Neither was disappointed and, between the three comedians: Richard Sandling, Gary Tro and George Egg, there was something for everyone.
Both fresh from the fringe, Gary Tro’s and George Egg’s acts were a fantastic contrast. Gary Tro tried to convince us he was the world’s greatest child; attempting to prove he was stronger, faster and brainier than any of the kids in the audience, but he met his match in the little boy who challenged him to “name my favourite movie!” George Egg’s brand of mime, magic and absurd, props-led practical jokes were subtler (or perhaps just quieter?!) and left the kids with some great ideas for pranks. The parents were delighted.
Richard Sandling introduced the show and did the “in between” bits as Dulcie called them; whipping the audience into a frenzy with his passion for chocolate Easter-eggs and alien extermination. And the BSL interpreter wasn’t fazed at being asked to repeatedly sign some naughty words that children find funny…you can probably guess which ones.
The whole show was interactive and inclusive, with kids getting up on stage and loads of audience participation. Albert was totally impressed that the jokes were “really good” and Dulcie loved having to re-enact famous film scenes she’d never seen before (thank goodness).There was loads of humour aimed at grown-ups too and it was all slightly anarchic – we had a terrific time!