Sketch comedy group Chutney Exhibition revived a disaster epic for their performance of Titanic 2: Pig In The City. Review by Alex Watson
Bearing in mind Hollywood’s current obsession with film reboots, it was only a matter of time before Titanic was given a sequel. Thankfully, it is Edinburgh sketch comedy group Chutney Exhibition who have revived the tragic tale in their satirical and surreal live show Titanic 2: Pig In The City.
Chutney Exhibition are a recent addition to Edinburgh’s comedy scene, but the group is populated by old hands. Members of The Edinburgh Revue (Edinburgh University’s comedy society) and Fringe veteran sketch group We’ve Become Mango have come together to pool their talents and share their wisdom. As a result, Titanic 2 is a confident and polished promise of good things to come.
The show is loosely structured as a play, apparently based on Australian billionaire Clive Palmer’s plans to build a replica of RMS Titanic (dubbed Titanic II) and sail it from Southampton to New York in 2016.
Titanic 2’s story follows an interesting array of crew members and passengers – including a trio of inexperienced terrorists, a somewhat senile Poirot and the genius, Lambrini-wielding ‘Jakey’ Rowling – on what is sure to be an ill-fated voyage.
Chutney Exhibition’s members are passionate about their comedy, and it is clear that they are having fun on stage. The cast interact convincingly and shine brightly as a unit. Sadly, some solo monologues are notably weaker than sketches with two or more participants. Only a couple of on stage giggles set these young comedians apart from professionals, ten or even 20 years their senior.
By far the strongest and most fluid performance comes from the ship’s Captain, Lord Spygood (Andrew Blair) and his first mate (Adam Butler). Blair embodies the type of blundering nincompoop that fans of traditional British comedy will know and love (think Basil Fawlty with a passion for firearms), perfectly complemented by Butler’s unfaltering dead pan responses.
An honourable mention must go to show director James W. Woë who – despite appearing on stage for less than ten minutes – receives a multitude of laughs throughout as the voice of Titanic 2’s sassy tannoy system.
Although the humour is sometimes painfully crude (particularly in the second act), a great deal of thought and intelligence has clearly gone into the script. A witty quip hides in almost every line, and there are no awkward lulls in the audience’s laughter (often a tell-tale sign of amateur comedy).
Chutney Exhibition’s next project will be an ‘Alternative Edinburgh Walking Tour’ that looks set to take place during the Fringe in August. You can also catch some of Titanic 2’s talented cast in various Fringe shows across Edinburgh, including We’ve Become Mango at Chiquito on Frederick Street (2 – 23 August, 7.25pm)