City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Barry Pull Your Finger Out! Review

By Kenneth Scott - Posted on 24 August 2009

Barry Pull Your Finger Out!
Show details
Footlights Harry Porter Prize Winner
Running time: 
Josh Higgott (director), Daran Johnson (writer), Rachel Scrivener (producer).
Rob Carter (Barry), Lucy Evans (Susie), Adam Hollingworth (Gary), Ben Kavanagh (Chris), Rachel Scrivener (Mel).

If it saves time, you are only likely to enjoy this show if you are under 23, preferably male and think that constant reference to body parts can be nothing but unfailingly funny.

It starts off promisingly enough, at the beginning - the point where Barry was born and given away to be brought up by a step-grandmother.  Enter Gary and we are tantalised with possible plots - were they separated at birth and subsequently altered in appearance by plastic surgery?  Do they inhabit parallel universes?  Unfortunately none of this goes anywhere and we are left with a facile kitchen sink sit-com.  It has the air of a TV pilot that is feeling its way.  Most of the material fits this genre but there is a take on the vaudeville "Who's on first" sketch, which has its roots in the 1930s.

Back to the plot.  Barry has been living with Susie (but not actually going out).  His adherence to some sort of moral code that prevents him making money has led to him wearing second hand socks - as pants.  When Susie finally reaches breaking point she leaves and dates Gary, whose speech is peppered with inappropriate idioms, metaphors and random quotes from the works of Shakespeare.  Barry's life affirming response is to stick his finger in a bust pipe.  Will there be a reconciliation?

The gags come thick and fast but, while the cast try hard, most of them are weak and puerile (see anatomical allusion above).

Here is another Shakespeare quote for Gary - "... a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.  It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Times: 6-18 and 20-30 August, 4.35pm.