WHAT: Punt & Dennis: They Should Get Out More
WHERE: Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham
WHEN: 13 February 2011
We saw this comedy duo last time they went on tour, in 2007 and just before Christmas, when I spotted them being on tour again, I decided to get tickets as a Christmas present to the Squeeze, as the last tour (Stuff and Nonsense) was enjoyed by both of us.
Hugh Dennis is the dad in Outnumbered and a standard fixture as a panelist on Mock the Week, where Steve Punt works as a writer. Steve Punt has also made appearances in episodes of Horrible Histories. (He’s the middle knight in the I’m A Knight song, and later as a servant in the smelly Houses of Parliament.) They had a show on TV back in the day, and occasionally go on tours together. This is the new tour/show, They Should Get Out More.
The showing was said to be sold out, but there were a few free seats in the audience. We were in the circle, so high up. It felt a bit cramped, because the people in the row below could basically use our knees as head support. And I don’t fancy having strangers being quite that familiar with my body!
Another drawback of being upstairs is that the speaker system didn’t seem to have been set up properly – we both got the feeling the speakers were only on for the people in the stalls, so anything higher up, it was a bit difficult to hear what was going on. Especially when they spoke over each other, which they did a lot.
The show itself was very funny. It was basically just the two of them on stage, talking. Most of the talking seemed to be made by Punt, with Dennis providing the commentary and comic relief (lots of dinosaur walking!). The show started with a survey, to see what sort of level the Nottingham audience were at. Apparently we were fine with casual racism and we were not aware that most of the pirates of today are actually Somalian and therefore probably don’t go “ARRRRRR!” very often.
Dennis plays a drunk very well, and the numerous references to the pub “the Dog and Trumpet” were funnier by repetition, as was the drunk wine critic who was absolutely aghast that a viewer had used white wine to boil fish in.
It’s partially character comedy and partially stand -up, and in a way, reminiscent of Mock the Week in the way it’s done, which works very well in half-hour format on TV. If it works quite as well on stage in 65+45 minute chunks – well, not quite so sure. Either way, we were “well amused” by this show. Top notch!