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Police Cops The Musical - Review



I often lament that shows over needlessly complicate themselves – they don’t identify what they are, who their target audience is and focus on delivering a simple story. Well, that wasn’t the case tonight at Southward Playhouse! Police Cops certainly knows its identity – a slapstick eighties musical with boys ripping their shirts open, playing sexy cat villains, and wearing morph suits that idolise Groot and Hodor-esque monophasic characters. Whilst it may not be high-brow, and I’m sure many pretentious theatre-lovies will scoff, Police Cops caught me hook, line, and sinker!

 

Police Cops tells the story of “short king” Jimmy Johnson, “short king”, a young, impressively ripped man who dreams of becoming a police cop (played by Zachary Hunt). Jimmy’s task, attempting to take down a big-time Mexican gangster, is going to require a practised team. Who better than cigarette-throwing, jaded ex-cop Harrison (Tom Roe)  who becomes his ‘best friend / buddy / pal / mate / partner’.  Other than Hunt, each member of the cast plays up to 5 or 6 different characters each more comically bizarre than the last. It is a riot of hilarious characters, peaking at Mexican orphan puppetswith terminal illnesses and a man who walks across the stage and just claps.

 

Though the story is absolutely insane at times, in general it’s pretty simple. It has a never-ending reel of brilliantly timed, physical comedy by every member of the cast. Weaponised babies, time-travelling morph suits, men undercover as bins and plenty of toplessness all awaits the audience in Police Cops.

 

The five strong company of actors are just wonderful, especially the duo of Zachary Hunt and Tom Roe. They might have flubbed a few lines but won me over as they teased each other with adlib after adlib. It was a masterful performance by a cast who were so comfortable in their roles that they could carry on despite any hiccup and make it funny.

 

Whilst it does delve DEEP into the absurd, its self-abasing style brought the audience in – throughout the whole performance the crowd were eating out of the palm of the cast’s hands. One audience member was chosen to join in as a tertiary character (I’m assured he was aware he would be part of the show) as a racist author who, through the power of modern dance, eventually finds himself wielding a gun, a grenade and a baby. The guy chosen on my performance was great – he was in on the joke, laughing all the way through, and received his own standing ovation at the end of the performance. I dare say that if the audience member wasn’t as extroverted, or not able to withstand the ribbing that my guy received, it could be a bit of a problem. However, I have full faith that the cast would laugh it off and find a way to make it funny.

 

Can you tell I liked it ?! It is wild, hilarious, stupid, yet brilliant. I loved every minute of this amazingly comedic romp into the slapstick world of Police Cops. I guarantee I will be back to see this again, and dragging s many friends as I ‘Ameri-can’.

 

Police Cops plays at Southwark Playhouse’s Elephant venue until 20th April 2024. Tickets are priced from £22 - £45, in all honesty every seat was good! Tickets available at www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk



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