Gloriator at Brewery Theatre

You know when you’re laughing so hard that you can barely breathe? You’re actually sobbing, gasping, tears streaming from your eyes to such an extent that there’s nowhere left for it to go, so your nose starts to run too. Remember that feeling of being told off by a teacher at school, when your mate starts to giggle and empathy makes you join in and that giggle eventually turns into a convulsive belly laugh until you can’t contain yourself, almost making you lose control of your faculties and probably every bit of dignity you’ve ever had? Well, that was me, watching Gloriator at Brewery Theatre on Wednesday night.

Spitz and Co are Susie Donkin and Pauline Morel, 2 talented and very silly women. Their humour is often ridiculous in a “What the Flipitty-fuck are they doing now?” way. But don’t try to analyse any of it, just sit back and enjoy the side-spitting ride.

The premise of Gloriator is this: the famous French actress, Gloria Delaneuf, and her UK tour manager, Josephine Cunningham, are staging their own version of Ridley Scott’s blockbuster ‘Gladiator’, without the budget: the cardboard costumes are so inventively basic that they still include barcodes and store names. Gloria takes herself very seriously and is constantly exasperated by the overly eager-to-please Josephine, who gets everything arse over tit. Props break, cds jump and lines are forgotten, leading to much hilarity.

Audience participation is high here and I’m not even sure whether my reaction was in large part the fault of the woman in the row in front of us, who was in uncontrollable hysterics throughout the show. Or maybe it was the man a couple of rows behind, whose guffaw was so beautiful that his sound track alone would have had me in convulsions. What I do know is that laughter is highly contagious and, for at least 20 minutes of the hour long double act, I was unable to take a single sip of my beer, so convinced was I that I would spray it over the heads of the people in front and end up with droplets of it coming out of my nose in a vain attempt to prevent this from happening. Yes, I was a complete wreck.

Although this is recommended for age 11+ (there were no kids in the audience), I’d really like to take my 9 year old along to see Gloriator , just so she can experience so many adults in one place, laughing so hard for so long.

A word of warning – women, don’t wear mascara. And men, just careful, eh?

Gloriator shows at Brewery Theatre until Saturday 27th June



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