By Carmel Shortall
The antics of intergalactic cretins Tyler and Gary, have become one of the regular highlights of the Camden Fringe. I’m a fan!
King Chaos is the third instalment of the series after Dead Static (2012), and Pilgrim Shadow (2013) but you don’t need to have seen the other two to enjoy the latest outing.
The same evil Syndicate that has condemned our heroes to death 11 times rules the Galaxy – apart from the Republic of Swindon, that is. They are opposed by the Federation. References to Star Wars are played up – there is much use of the stirring Imperial March, and mention is made of a place on Earth, known as Camden, which is “a wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Fair enough! But the Star Wars universe doesn’t have Noel Edmonds cyborgs and is all the poorer for it.
Tyler and Gary are now leading the fight for freedom and, so long as Dodgy Pete’s access codes work, they plan to capture King Jeffrey and liberate the galaxy. But then what? Legalise chocolate? Create a world in which ‘freedom’ isn’t just an unpronounceable word in a dictionary? Or allow themselves to be corrupted by absolute power? And anyway, is Jeffrey an absolute despot or just an absolute twit? Who is really running things – surely not Prime Minister Sponge?
Tyler thinks he’s the brains of the duo but Gary proves he is its heart. As Tyler prepares to be crowned King Tyler, First of That Name, and learns from Sponge just how much admin is involved in exterminating the enemies of the state, Gary and Jeffrey escape. Will they all manage to work together to overthrow the real power behind the throne? And will that pain in his chest turn out to be Tyler’s conscience?
King Chaos sets a cracking pace right from the start and never lets up. Cliff Chapman as Tyler Smith and Adam Joselyn as Gary Patches are joined this time round by Emma Stirling as Sponge and Robert Dearn as King Jeffrey. All are excellent and clearly having fun – their enjoyment is infectious.
Writer, producer and director, Steve Jordan has created a wonderfully silly and comic sci-fi universe that, with all its nods and winks to other works, stands very much on its own two feet.
King Chaos has its Camden Fringe run at The Tristan Bates Theatre until 15 August at 7.45pm. Tickets are £12 (concs £10)
Don’t miss it!