After the huge success of “Booze Brothers” - a Northern parody of The Blues Brothers, written by Barnsley’s Jack Land Noble, (a prolific actor, musician, playwright, producer and director who predominantly honed his talents with the Lamproom Youth Theatre Ensemble), Land Noble was persuaded to bring the Barton brothers back to the Lamproom stage.
I had the ultimate pleasure of going along to the ‘world premiere’ of Booze Brothers Part II: The Fat Pack! last night, with a soundtrack full of swing (as opposed to soul), and having not seen the first instalment (Booze Brothers) nor never having seen the Blues Brothers movie, I had no clue what to expect but certainly did not leave feeling disappointed.
Filled with oodles of Northern humour, slapstick comedy, sauciness and an unexpected but utterly fabulous male “dance” routine that practically had me rolling in the aisle, Booze Brothers Part II is one hell of a fabulous and laugh out loud night out for anyone aged 16+.
Set in Spanish holiday resort in “Costa Mierda”, (a work-in-progress one at that, which is part building site, part hotel!), we meet Dave Barton, one half of the Booze Brothers. He's listening to the horse racing on the radio, eagerly clutching at his ticket, but is mortified when he loses his bet (“Let's Face the Music and Dance”). He disappears and a group of enthusiastic tourists arrive to Hotel Zig Zag. From Sodom, Yorkshire, the guests are family and friends of Dave Barton, including his brother Sam and in true stereotypical Barnsley style they arrive complete with flat caps, dated clothes and crude language. Unaware of Dave’s “disappearance”, they meet hotel owner, also named Zig Zag, a rather eccentric character who claims to have physic powers. Convinced that Dave is in fact dead, she attempts to contact him, with hilarious consequences.
As the story unravels we learn that Dave owes money to Harry (or “Harry The Tw*t” as he's best known as). Can Sam and Dave aka The Booze Brothers save the day and get out of debt and out of danger? Will flirtatious Camille (Ruth Burbidge) hook up with dishy hotel staff Pedro?
From start to finish Booze Brothers is filled with witty yet crude jokes, Northern insults, lust (and bust!), humour, farts, booze, sun and beer - all the ingredients of a good European holiday destination for lovers of budget holidays!
The entire cast give an absolute corker of a performance, and it's almost impossible to pick and individual out as more outstanding than the others, with fantastic vocal performances from several cast members including of course, Will Bisby and Phil Shepherd as Dave and Sam Barton, Ingrid Kellock as Marti Stringer and Richard Caile as Geordie McClain, a loveable duet of “Sisters” from Aunty Vi (Sandra Haigh) and Mean Jean (Irene Jones). However my ultimate highlight of the evening was most definitely the robed men doing a routine! I haven't howled like that in months!
I cannot recommend this show enough - in Barnsley terms it's “chuffing brilliant”! With performances running until 15th July, with prices around £12-£13 per ticket, Booze Brothers Part II is a guaranteed night of fun, laughter and frolics.
Reviewer: Charlotte Browne
Reviewed: 7th July 2017