I had the pleasure tonight of catching the revised and rejuvenated production of Spike Theatre’s The Games before it heads up to the Edinburgh Festival. Could it be too much of a sweeping statement to say you’d be hard pressed to find a funnier theatre show up there this summer? Well, yes, probably. But this new, shorter, snappier version is an absolute riot, and worth 70 minutes of any punter’s time.
The comic tale of three losers manipulated by the Greek gods to compete in the Olympics is bursting at the seams with silliness, songs, and gags. A lot has changed between this production and its winter tour; it speeds by in a tornado of slapstick, clowning and pure entertainment. It is simply a joy — the performers, Liam Tobin, Jamie Wood and Lauren Silver, have a rapport and an enthusiasm that can’t be faked, and throw themselves into their work with a frankly ridiculous amount of gusto, with the kind of chutzpah that forgives the odd cock up (pun not entirely intended, considering the audience appeared to see a lot more of Tobin than they were probably supposed to in this final preview).
The Games packs a serious comedy punch and is real feelgood theatre that you can palpably feel winning over the audience with its positivity and wonderful sense of fun. It’s taken a lot of hard work for Spike and all those involved to get to this point and it’s been so nice to see it succeed. Best of luck at the festival.
For more on the story behind The Games and more details of where to catch them in Edinburgh, read this. Or for a sneak peek, watch the clip below for a taste of the brilliant dressing room (or rather, undressing room) scene: