WORTH A LOOK?: *****
WHERE?: Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith
WHEN?: 27/9, tour runs to 29/9/18
Tonight is the 45th gig of this 47-date tour and the BBC is filming which means the chance of seeing it on a small screen near you sometime soon seems assured.
- Read on for reasons including whether beloved Restart officer Pauline is really dead – or not
Which is worth knowing because The League Of Gentlemen Live again! serves both as a reminder of the quartet’s best work as well as pushing on some of its best-loved characters’ stories that were rekindled in last year’s three-part TV return.
Regular readers of this site will know of our enthusiasm for the work of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith on the last 2 seasons of Inside No 9 but it’s in this show with its oddball characters and jet black northern humour that they 1st came to attention.
The 1st act here boasts Pemberton, Shearsmith and fellow writer Mark Gatiss in dinner jackets with minimal props spending 45 minutes reeling off some of the League’s greatest hits. Card bores are particularly well-skewered in the well-received Go Johnny Go Go Go! skit.
Some of the material is updated, despite 1 character noting that the technology references in 1 scene need work, and there’s a particularly colourful reference to Kevin Spacey in theatre troupe’s Legz Akimbo’s issues-based number Perv Swerve that had us rolling in the aisles.
If anything, the 2nd half is even funnier. There is a narrative thread running through the sketches that will be familiar to those who tuned in to the League’s small screen return last Christmas but for those who didn’t it matters little.
Gay German schoolteacher Herr Lipp enters the audience to find volunteers to help him with a particularly filthy oral exam. Restart officer Pauline is reborn (despite her premature demise in the most recent burst of TV episodes) and the audience couldn’t be more pleased as she regales them as ‘dole scum’ endangering her pens.
Local shopkeeper Tubbs is even given a musical number to explain her predicament and desire for rescue by her husband/brother.
Even though a scene involving bodily fluids and an unwanted erection pull the chain on the toilet humour quotient of the set, the audience is never less than captivated throughout.
The League hasn’t played live for more than a decade and, on this form, its return to both TV and the boards, couldn’t come a moment sooner. Special stuff indeed.