Comedy Review: Punt and Dennis at the Playhouse

Words: Faye Stacey
Tuesday 11 June 2024
reading time: min, words

Two of The Mary Whitehouse Experience reunite...

Untitled 1 Copy

As a teenager in the 90s, I was a fan of The Mary Whitehouse Experience, so I was delighted to hear that Punt & Dennis are back on the road with the We Are Not A Robot tour, the first in 10 years.  I asked my daughter if she wanted to join me, she helpfully pointed out that ‘one of them was on Taskmaster’. Good start.  They have of course been entertaining Radio 4 listeners with The Now Show for the last 25 years.  The pair's friendship developed when they met at Cambridge in 1983, performing together at Footlights and soon forming a double act. Going on to The Mary Whithouse Experience with Newman & Baddiel.

The evening follows a very similar format to the Now Show, with Punt being the straight guy delivering facts straight from his clipboard and providing the set up for Dennis whose talents for voices and physical comedy and improv, fit together perfectly. Punt tries to keep everything in order and keep the ship on course, Dennis is trying to throw his pal off with his cheekiness and off-script improv.  We get a rather fast run through of things that have happened over the last 10 years, showing how things have changed and looking back at the word of the year, with Dennis providing not always correct explanations for the words.

a permanently very drunk Hugh

We are also treated to the details of Hugh’s recent colonoscopy, which is mentioned throughout the two hours.  Sounds that frighten people, baby boomers hate an air raid siren, while GenZ panic at the sound of a land line ringing. Either side of the intermission we have a live performance of World of Wines, a comedy sketch from The Now Show, where Michael (Steve as the professional host) and Tarquin (a permanently very drunk Hugh) discuss wines and a recipe for duck a l’orange, with Dennis appearing even more drunk and dishevelled after the break.  He really excels at drunk acting and winding up his friend. How good are slogans?  ‘theres a glass and a half in every bar’ .... that's a lot of glass.

It was a rather enjoyable evening of light topical comedy with a cosy familiar feel. We even got a Milky Milky.

Punt & Dennis’s We Are Not A Robot played at the Nottingham Playhouse on 7th June 2024

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