Thunderbirds FAB Review 2001

  • Date:
    Wednesday, December 19, 2001
    Review by:
    Darren Dalglish

    This stage show has toured internationally for about 18 years, with 6 seasons in London’s West End. “Thunderbirds FAB” first appeared in the West End in 1989 at the Apollo Theatre and a new version of the show opened for a limited run last year at the Playhouse theatre. It has now returned to the West End for Christmas and what a very funny show it is!

    Created by Andrew Dawson & Gavin Robertson this is a show that fondly mocks Gerry Anderson’s great children’s sixties cult TV puppet shows, “Thunderbirds”, “Captain Scarlet” and “Stingray”. I have to admit to being a great fan of these TV shows and owning some episodes on DVD so I was looking forward to seeing the show, which by the way was my first time!

    It is hilarious as Andrew Dawson & Gavin Robertson brilliantly mimes characters from Lady Penelope to Captain Black. They perfectly mimic the way the puppets move with comical results. I especially liked the way that Captain Black disarms Captain Scarlet by cutting his “strings” leaving him collapsed on the floor in a heap.

    Dawson & Robertson are master mime artists as they skilfully depict the characters and settings from these classic TV series. They run around with models of Thunderbirds 1 & 2 on their head and skilfully mime blowing up a bridge, a runaway train and many more scenes.

    A typical plot finds the President’ s life in danger as the train he is riding on is hanging off the edge of a bridge that has been blown up by Captain Black. Can International Rescue along with Captain Scarlet save him before the train falls?

    Yes, I know this seems a very bizarre show, but it is so wacky I laughed throughout. But, this is probably because I know and love the series so much I can spot all the jokes and associate their mimes on stage with classic moments from the series.

    If you are a fan of these cult TV shows, or just know of them by watching with the kids then you will have some great fun. However, if you have never seen the TV series you won’t have a clue why people are laughing!!

    I can only find one review from the popular press for the Aldwych run....CLIVE BARTLETT for THE STAGE says, "As ever, the impersonations of the, well, wooden acting of the Tracey family and their foes are faultless."

    It is reported that Dawson & Robertson have decided to hang up their sashes, so this is probably the last time you will get to see these very talented men performing this excellent show, so all Thunderbird fans, young and old, should get down to the Aldwych now!


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