Angelos Epithemiou and Friends, Bloomsbury Theatre, London
Thursday 09 December 2010
BBC2's Shooting Stars provided the big break for Angelos Epithemiou and in a very short space of time, the dishevelled clown, who owes so much to the stylings of his hosts Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, has enjoyed a suitably stellar ascent.
The creation of Dan Renton Skinner, a former member of the Perrier-nominated sketch group Dutch Elm Conservatoire and regular of television comedies, Angelos has now fast-tracked to a lengthy live tour of good-sized venues. A boon for Skinner's career, then, and for Angelos – an ex-burger van owner who originated "from [the Greek island of] Tescos, two islands along from Argos", too.
Employing numerous devices to fill 90 minutes of stage time, including a quiz, a quick Q&A and a guest spot (from Mr Swallow, Nick Mohammed's zany character who was somewhat out of context tonight), Angelos serves up some hit-and-miss fare. While dancing to Lady Gaga seems to rely simply on Angelos's sartorially-challenged appearance (trousers that are too short and a kipper tie that is too long), his personification of animals mentioned in glam-rock hits is a successful example of the kitchen-sink surrealism he's borrowed from Reeves and Mortimer.
Singing French words to the theme tune of 'Allo 'Allo, mucking about with an inflatable hammer and quiz questions such as "What's the best of the main three things?" all fit comfortably into the school of Vic and Bob, but Angelos is still a fluid creation. He's packed a lot in to this showcase, including impressions that take him out of character.
Angelos's naivety and uncertainty, meanwhile, do surface from time to time as he gurns and slurs his way through the occasional malapropism, sometimes morphing words together that sound the same. His back story occasions some botched moments, something that needs to be addressed if Angelos is to sustain more full-length live outings in the future.
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