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Classic comedy routines updated for the hip hop age

By Herald Express  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

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THE new year gets off to a cracking start at the Exeter Northcott Theatre with two shows which are part of the Laugh Out Loud Exeter Comedy Festival — Fhlip Fhlop on Saturday and Alaska on January 17 and 18.

Take a bag full of classic comedy routines and update them for the hip hop age and you have the exhilarating and hilarious Fhlip Fhlop by Rannel Theatre Company.

Two painter-decorators are doing a job in a friend's flat, but in traditional slapstick manner, things go wrong.

In a dynamic display of one-upmanship, they compete to out-do each other with moves essentially unchanged from the time of the Marx Brothers.

Performers, Matt Bailey and Joey D, combine witty dialogue, slapstick, laughter, breakdance, beatbox and Dj'ing to create an energetic comedy for all ages.

Alaska, by Black Fish and makin projects in association with Exeter Northcott Theatre, is a tragi-comic.

One man goes in search of adventure, freedom and 'a piece of the good life', but soon finds that the reality is no picnic. Plummeting temperatures, technical disasters (and a severe lack of any practical skills whatsoever) soon plunge our hero into a nightmarish world of extreme survival.

Created by the company, Alaska brings together Giles King, Craig Johnson (performers) and Carl Grose (writer). They have previously appeared in Kneehigh Theatre classics such as The King of Prussia, The Bacchae, Tristan and Yseult and The Red Shoes. Craig Johnson is also the genius behind Squashbox Theatre.

The show uses film, firelight, shadow, a whole host of forest wildlife and a fabulous soundtrack.

In February, Exeter Northcott Theatre plays host to two more shows from the Laugh Out Loud event: Matthew Hammond, aka the Stand Up Philosopher, presents Standing Up For Freedom in the theatre bar on February 3.

From ancient times to modern thinkers, the history of the idea of freedom is traced in a sequence of inspirational performances that unpick the concept that we think we know so well, and show it in a new light.

On February 10, Silly Songs of Shakespeare does exactly what it says on the tin: there are songs, they are silly and they are based on Shakespeare!

The LOL Festival runs from January 19 to February 12.

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