BRIGHTON FRINGE REVIEW: Benny Hill’s @Broadway Lounge

Brian Butler May 23, 2017

Benny Hill’s is a dreadful little drag bar in Spain that’s dying on its feet.

Allan – or Allan Benjamin Hill to use his full name – aka Fanny – has hit hard times, when his past, in the form of his ex-wife catches up with him and turns his life upside down. His wife’s revelation is that he has a daughter, Jade, shortly to become 18 and therefore at liberty to find her birth father.

It’s a clever idea that just doesn’t come off for a variety of reasons.

The six characters, including a Bear DJ, and two innocent middle-aged women on a hen holiday – are all stereotypical and the 2 ladies particularly are purely there for cheap jokes.

The one character who seems alive is Allan, played by Daryl Bennett. We do feel some sympathy for him but the writing is altogether too superficial and stagey to make his predicament work.

The one moment in the show which does work is when he sings “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now” breaking down as he performs it with more than usual significance.

Generally though, the acting is not quite good enough and at times inaudible.

There’s a good idea trying to get out, and with some writing and stronger direction and acting, it could work. The ending when it comes is predictable and not really as satisfying as it should be. Though largely irrelevant to the plot, the bald-headed Elvis karaoke performer would certainly lighten the show if he had more than a few seconds of stage time.

BENNY HILLS  presented by PostScript Theatre

Venue: Broadway Lounge, Steine Street, Brighton

Dates: Runs until May 28

Reviewed by: Brian Butler on May 22