The show is practically over by the time the audience rolls up for Jordi Milan's Nuts Coconuts. And just as well, too, judging by the fairly excruciating turns on stage by members of the "Gibraltar Follies" variety theatre company. With flouncy skirts, sequins, feathers and clichéd acts presented in the worst possible taste, this once sought-after company on the Costa del Sol is clearly on its last legs. Cheesy international tributes end with a nod in the direction of Brazil... where the nuts come from. Were those coconut boobs on one drag artist's chest really two bouncing haggises?
It's all a huge joke, with the public harassed into seats and cajoled for being late. But this "Getting to Know our Colonial Theatre" is only a warm-up to the real "show", which is the departure of the Follies for their next gig. Amid bickering, bitching and backbiting, scaffolding is dismantled, curtains covering brick walls ripped down, and the set is put to bed for the journey south. A human chain is formed from game members of the audience to get the props to the van, and dusty drops are handed out to be folded. Troupe members provide banal commentary, local and topical references peppering the gags. Jam sandwiches are dispensed, and as the players finally depart, the audience is asked to turn out the lights.
A number had already walked out, however, perhaps bemused at having handed over more than £20 for what might have been a fun rag on the Fringe.
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