RATS: Rowan Atkinson Tribute Show


Rowan Atkinson Tribute Show

Stephen Carnell & Blancmange Productions

Stage Door Dinner Theatre

2nd – 11th May 2013


Reviewed by Maree Butterworth


RATS Think blue, sheer tights, awkward, silly antics, and humour that you would expect from an assortment of skits from Rowan Atkinson’s illustrious career – most drawn from 1981 to 1986.


Of course there are also a few recognisable scenes from Atkinson’s early nineties’ series, Mr Bean.


Depending on whether you and Atkinson’s humour have been acquainted will be a defining factor of whether you leave the show with a newly defined six-pack on your stomach from laughing, or whether you leave somewhat underwhelmed.


Fortunately for me, I was somewhere in the middle. Having been brought up on Mr Bean shows (particularly remembering the Christmas episode) I entered the cosy auditorium of the Stage Door Dinner Theatre at Bowen Hills, anticipating something reasonably hilarious.


Sydney actor, Gabriel McCarthy, took the stage a short time later and delivered the Welcome to Hell skit and from that moment, I could hear the crowd getting involved and waiting between chuckles for the punch lines they knew so well. A reminiscent spark had been lit in their minds, sometimes taking them back almost 30 years.


Highlights of the evening include the Pink Tights and Plenty of Props sketch where McCarthy takes on a number of characters satirising Elizabethan royalty. Watch for the characters of the king’s twin brother and the messengers defined by the sentiment of the memo they deliver to the king.


A Rowan Atkinson Tribute Show would not be complete without a little bit of a “cringe-factor”. This comes into play with several references to indiscretions of the Catholic Church, the discomfort of the lack of a hankie in the church episode of Mr Bean and the scene where McCarthy, as Atkinson, roll calls a class with a straight face – the students are each indecently named.


The lighter humour takes the form of Atkinson’s piano and drum playing sketches which McCarthy has mastered right down to the timings and quirky expressions, only before witnessed on the rubbery faced man himself.


McCarthy effortlessly delivers the tribute show that was written by Richard Curtis, Ben Elton and Rowan Atkinson himself, and if I can give you any advice of how to maximise your enjoyment of this clever collation? Grab a seat at the front of the room so you don’t miss any of McCarthy’s excellent “Atkinson – like” expressions…oh and cradle a glass of wine!


Rowan Atkinson Tribute Show runs until May 11 with tickets available from http://www.stagedoordinnertheatre.com.au or by calling (07) 3216 1115




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