Review – Mudcrabs: The Box Set29 March 2017
I used to be a Mudcrab.
That was the thought ringing in my head when I went in to see Mudcrabs: The Box Set. When I left, the thought was “I’m glad I’m not a Mudcrab”. Largely because I knew there was no way I could keep up with such effervescent comic talent. That may sound biased, but trust me – these people are going places.
Far from their usual lunchtime offerings to the bewildered patrons of the Rowden White Library, Mudcrabs: The Box Set sees the group at their sharpest and most rehearsed, offering old and new material in equal measure. And, by hell, it’s silly. Let me tell you – this show is
The Mudcrabs just ‘get’ sketch comedy. They play fast and loose and, as a result, the non sequiturs fly and the punch lines peppered throughout catch you like a pie in the face. I could wax lyrical about Ben, David, Emily, Ian, Jack, Jacob, Matthew, Sandy and Simon (don’t tempt me), but the real star of the show is the writing conjured by all nine of them.
Things start off quiet and for a moment it’s like you’ve wandered into comedy’s Twilight Zone. But once the cast gets going, there’s seemingly no stopping them. From awkward office spaces to ancient history, the Mudcrabs draw you effortlessly into their world simply because they – in the words of one audience-favourite – “don’t give a fuck”. By show’s end, wigs, capes, condoms and bits of broken plastic litter the stage and you’ll have met hopeless criminals, hard-ass substitute teachers, harebrained dignitaries and the “perennially safe” Dickface Dave – from neurotics to nudists, this cast has you covered.
You’ll also meet the Mudcrabs themselves, in the show’s brilliantly conceived metanarrative, which shuns their penchant silliness for something altogether darker and more sarcastic, something that shows how much talent this group has. By show’s end, they’re apparently exhausted, like they’ve got no more for give, but I really, really hope they do.
Do yourself a favour: take a punt and go and see this show. You’ll be tickled pink and you’ll understand absolutely what I’m about to say next because who knows? If these crazy kids keep at it, we may be talking about condom wrappers and potato famines in the same breath as dead parrots and bevvies with the boys.
Get crabby, fuckers.