Good old-fashioned fun with the Fluffy-Tailed Fella [star rating=3/5]
The Basil Brush Family Fun Show is such traditional, end-of-the-pier fun that you can almost imagine the squawk of seagulls and waves lapping against the walls of the venue.
After more than fifty years as a performer, and in this incarnation accompanied by his much put-upon human sidekick Martin, you get exactly what you would expect from a Basil Brush show, and pretty much what you would have got at any point in his illustrious career.
The whole gamut of kids’ cabaret is there: soaking the audience with water pistols – tick; custard pies – tick; kids on stage – tick.
Is it still amusing to see a puppet behind a desk pretend to go down an escalator and up in a lift to bounce on a trampoline? As it happens, it really is.
Lots of the jokes rely on toilet humour, but bottoms and flatulence will always be hilarious to children, and Basil knows what he is good at.
As you would expect, call and response with the audience is a fundamental element of the show.
It worked best when the audience were rehearsed in advance in the responses, with “the fluffy-tailed fella” introducing his catchphrase as, “The immortal lines, Boom! Boom!”.
The production seems very aware that this generation has not necessarily grown up with Mr Brush, and they are happy to tell us when to “Boom! Boom!”, which always takes the pressure off an audience.
For a dash of currency, the show is loosely based around The Greatest Showman with some well-known songs cropping up and Martin dressed up as a ringmaster.
A little more care could have been taken with the staging: the costumes do not fit, and you couldn’t really hear Basil over the music when he was singing.
However, the main prop PANTS the surrogate Alexa went down well with the children, and I doubt anyone had really turned up for the stagecraft.
The Basil Brush Family Fun Show knows exactly what it is, and unashamedly revels in it.
And who knew, for all their supposed sophistication and addiction to screens, this roomful of primary school-aged children loved every second of it.