4 May 2014
Reviewed by Kirsty Moorhouse
The Chuckle Brothers playing at Victoria Theatre in Halifax meant two very excited children (as well as two excited parents). We have been to see the Chuckle Brothers before and enjoyed it greatly. This time did not disappoint.
Street parking was plentiful and we were able to park just five minute walk from the theatre, located in the centre of Halifax.
The theatre itself is a well maintained, characterful, early 1900’s building meaning spacious seating and excellent acoustics. The bonus of the Victoria Theatre is that they have new seats which are very comfortable and don’t fold themselves up under the weight of a child, an issue we have had at other theatres in the past.
The staff were helpful and friendly, especially considering most of the audience were excitable children running around the foyer.
On to the show……
The performance started promptly at 2pm building up with the well-known “Chuckle Vision” theme music, whipping the children up into a frenzy, and then the voices of Barry and Paul setting the scene for the show ahead.
This times offering ‘2014 A Space Oddity’, a spoof based loosely on Star Trek, is set on board a space ship the brothers have accidentally beamed themselves onto. The crew with names such as Captain Burke, Mr Spot and Ludo were jokes that went over most of the young audiences heads but had the adults chuckling, a great example of the multi generation appeal of the lovable Rotherham born siblings.
Essentially a pantomime with a touch of old style variety, The Chuckle Brothers have their show format perfected. Slapstick and cracker jokes a plenty, there is something for all ages. The cast making up the main characters remains unchanged from show to show and includes their real life brothers The Patton Brothers and Safire (a man/woman illusionist team). Every character has their own catch phrases, and the theatre rang with cries of “To me… to you”, “Hellooooa”, “No Slacking” and “Get out of it” whenever the characters were on stage.
Magic tricks by ‘Safire’ had the audience gasping, as did their puppet show shown just after the interval, all adding to the variety show feel.
Things go wrong, sets wobble and people forget their lines and you’re never sure whether it’s by accident or design. Kings of the ‘professional unprofessionals’, Barry and Paul obviously have the audience in the palm of their hands. As demonstrated by the willingness of the audience to participate in their Jackanory style storytelling, coming on stage, playing games and having ‘custard pies’ splatted in their faces all in the spirit of making the little ones laugh, The Chuckle Brothers could ask their audience to do almost anything.
When the music was played, especially their end of show song which remains essentially the same in every show, the children once again were standing up and dancing in the aisles. With arms, light up memorabilia and small children lifted into the air as the whole audience threw themselves into the spirit of the moment showing just how much love there is for The Chuckle Brothers and their team.
It’s no secret age is creeping up on the cast of a Chuckle Brothers show, however the energy and passion is still vibrant and infectious. Barry and Paul spent over an hour signing autographs and chatting to fans after the show and the theatre staff were extremely efficient at keeping lines moving and children entertained.
To sum up, if you haven’t already seen them in action, make sure you get tickets for their next show!
Victoria Theatre, Fountain Street, Halifax HX1 1BP | Box Office: 01422 351158