Those zany, emphatic, nutty boys in Police Cops have done it again. Police Cops: Badass Be Thy Name is exactly what you would expect from the insane comedy troupe. From slow-mo fight scenes to devilish songs about sweets, this show has EVERYTHING!
It’s Manchester 1999, the turn of the millenia is on the horizon and people are going missing. This is about all the storyline that you get before this show launches you into a world beyond comprehension. It might seem strange that in a narrative based show, the narrative isn’t all that important, but this is exactly the case for Police Cops: Badass Be Thy Name.
The three actors: Nathan Parkinson, Zachary Hunt and Tom Roe, who between them play a menagerie of characters, are simply masters of their craft. Slick transitions, perfect comedic timing, non-sensical tangents and genius level of creativity makes their show astoundingly hilarious; a sentiment that is echoed by the roaring laughter of a vivaciously invested audience.
There are two components, aside from their incredible comedic talent, that make Police Cops so unique. The first is their homemade costumes and props. Some of them are actual comedy gold. Coats that turn into vending machines, dance partners on sticks, a baby on a string, sock swords and my personal favourite, a set of black jumpers that turn the cast into a GCSE drama group to act out the life of the Devil. The quality that they achieve from such simplistic invention is staggering.
The second, and possibly the most important component, is their ability to play. Having genuine fun with each other on stage is something that Police Cops do like no one else. Their improvised scenes and monumental corpses are some of the best moments in the show. It’s a pleasure to see artists that have such strong a level of trust in each other, that they can go completely off the rails and see where it takes them. In the show I watched, we lost almost an entire scene to their laughter… and you know what? I am so glad that I never got to see what was actually meant to be there.
In my life I have never seen an audience so instantly and consistently receptive to a comedy show, a testament to the reputation these guys have built during their three (nearly four) year long stint of selling out shows in Edinburgh Fringe. If you see one show this Fringe, make it this one.