It was 10.25 on a Wednesday evening in the Leicester Square theatre, when three men bounded onto the stage stark naked. I turned to my companion. We laughed heartily. The women in front of us laughed heartily. The whole auditorium laughed heartily. There, late on Wednesday evening, we were all in unanimous agreement that these naked men were funny.
And it made me think: Why are naked men so funny? Is it the exposure of the vulnerable reality that shatters archetypal masculinity? Or is it just the fact that willies are amusing? I’m not sure. So please, dear reader, if you know the answer to this quandary, please tweet me it as I’d very much like to find out.
But, coming back to last Wednesday evening… the on-stage nudity that was making us all roar with laughter was an absurd vignette from Spymonkey’s “Cooped” – a concise farce inspired by the “pulp gothic novella”.
Silly, stupid, surreal and very funny, the show was only on a few days in London, so by the time you’re reading this it’ll be over, but the group are staging it in Berlin in January. So if you’re in the German capital next month, do check them out.
Directed by Cal McCrystal, the comedy director of One Man Two Guvnors, every single joke in the show is perfectly accomplished. Of course you’d expect this, given the group have been performing the show for the past decade. In fact given the production’s longevity, you might expect this accomplished performance to edge on the stale side, but remarkably they still keep it fresh. Aitor Basauri, in particular was fantastic, reminiscent of a Spanish Peter Sellers. Spymonkey are a hugely entertaining group of clowns, and this particular show of theirs is a great example of quality farce.
The revival of 2001’s physical comedy sensation Spymonkey ran for a fleeting, thrilling four nights at the Leicester Square theatre from 4th – 7th December 2013.
Spymonkey’s tour continues in Berlin at the Tipi am Kanzleramt from 3rd – 28th January 2014. For more information about the troupe, visit their website.
And if you know why naked men are so funny, please tweet Tom at @tgarto1.