Theatre review: Rotterz

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Rotterz (which might have been called Five Survive the Zombie Apocalypse were it not certain to summon the copyright lawyers) is a rambunctious, fun-filled production that wears its influences proudly on its torn, blood-spattered sleeve.

Star rating: ***

Venue: theSpace @ Venue 45 (Venue 45)

Taking a cue from Enid Blyton’s vintage yarns and adding liberal dashes of slapstick violence via Shaun of the Dead and Kill Bill, it’s shamelessly derivative nonsense that you’ll have almost certainly seen before: there’s homoerotic subtext galore, and people have been wringing giggles out of the names Dick and Fanny since Blyton’s first ginger beer.

Yet for all the tried-and-tested mugging and overblown sound effects, it’s still a bonkers bit of crowd-pleasing entertainment. There’s a nice side-line in gender politics, with tomboyish Eddie (Meg Hodgson, a truly gifted gurner) challenging the assumed leadership of Bertie (Jack Ridley), and while the inevitable Scottish references are old hat by now (Irn Bru and deep-fried Mars bars, anyone?), they hit their targets with panto-level accuracy. Special credit also to Sydney Goldsworthy, who ably fulfils the double role of puppet-master for the gang’s faithful hound Scamp and conveyor of Scamp’s emotions via her own painted face.

Until 26 August. Today 5:40pm.

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