Comedy: The Umbilical Brothers Arts Theatre, London
'Imagine Robert De Niro animated by Hanna Barbera, and you get some idea of the cartoon mania'
Tuesday 20 February 1996
For a start, they make all manner of noise. As they try to take "Heaven by Storm" - Shane is pursuing Dave across the universe for 20 cents towards the costs of his pet cricket's funeral - they conjure up the sounds of everything from Alka Seltzer in a glass of water to those machines that go beep in a space-rocket merely by using a microphone and an over-active larynx.
In one sweat-inducing routine, Collins, in a red vest and braces, mimes an increasingly frenzied, gun-toting Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver while Dundas, in, er, a red vest and braces, stands at the back providing the sound effects - including a super-charged "You talkin' to me?" Imagine Robert De Niro animated by Hanna Barbera, and you get some idea of the cartoon mania of the scene.
But it's as much about exercising the body as the voicebox. They are not averse to running up the wall if they think there might be a laugh in it (which there is). An eye-watering skit in a multi-gym - set, inevitably, to "Eye of the Tiger" - culminates in them frantically trying to outsprint each other on a running-machine. They must be as fit as several fiddles.
They can also flex bon mots, artfully de-constructing the action as they go along. To end one scene, Dundas says he has to go to a meeting with Andrew. "Who's Andrew?" asks Collins. "He's just a sub-plot I've been working on," comes back the reply.
There is a certain breathlessness to the whole affair - like a child trying to impress his parents by running round in a circle till he feels sick. And the plot - throwing in pastiches of Terminator, Star Wars, and that mimed Guinness ad apparently at random - is about as comprehensible as an episode of The Prisoner. And they might want to consider seeing someone about their gun fetish.
But the Umbilical Brothers offer an appealing mixture of deftness and daftness, and a verbal and physical dexterity you wouldn't usually associate with the country that gave the world Sir Les Patterson.
n To 16 March. Booking: 0171-836 2132
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Kylie Minogue quits The Voice UK
Review: Half of A Yellow Sun
Arts & Ents blogs
Game of Thrones season 4, episode 2, TV review: 'Purple Wedding' shock for viewers as King Joffrey marries Margaery Tyrell
The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Game of Thrones season 4 episode 2 breaks torrent record as fans watch online
King Joffrey: Jack Gleeson retires from acting after season 4 Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones season 4 episode 2 sees fans jubilant over King Joffrey's 'Purple Wedding'
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
- 1 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 2 The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
- 3 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales, says whistleblower