On the Run: Dame Over!

Aug 17 2022 | By More

★★★★☆     Dame to Fame

theSpace@Surgeons Hall (Venue 53): Fri 5 – Sat 27 Aug 2022
Review by Suzanne O’Brien

Showcasing considerable talent and dedication, On the Run: Dame Over!, the debut comedy show from Them is Brothers, is potentially the start of what could be a great Scottish comedy partnership.

Running all fringe, this high energy performance is filled with clever puns and witty humour that has something for everyone.

Them is Brothers: Leo MacNeill and Harrison MacNeill

The action-packed show is set in Pantoland. After colliding with the King’s magical bins, panto-dame Aunty Disestablishmentarianism (Leo MacNeill), is forced to go on the run, leaving behind her dame sister Aunty Biotics (Harrison MacNeill). The king enlists the help of the best detective in the land – PC Rhys, who with Aunty Biotics assistance, try to track down the run-away dame.

The script, which is also written by the pair, successfully includes the best of what a panto-dame has to offer whilst simultaneously mocking the traditions of pantomime. The humour is clever yet accessible and doesn’t require any extensive knowledge, despite a few requisite local references.

The jokes, gags and puns come thick and fast, and as well as being laugh-out-loud funny, they are easy to follow.

Little bits of back and forth with the audience and improvisation is done in a relaxed way and really adds an extra sprinkle of panto magic to an already hilarious script. Original songs are also included throughout the show as well as some very well-known songs with a special twist – including a Beatles medley on Dumfries and Galloway that will be stuck in your head for days!

bounds of energy

Seven characters are featured in the piece and are all played by Harrison MacNeill and Leo MacNeill, from the sister dames to a dim-witted shopkeeper to farmer Colin from Dumfries and more. In these roles it is clear that Harrison has raw skill and immense talent in comedy performance and that Leo is a fantastic character actor with bounds of energy and rather nice vocals.

The brothers have great on stage chemistry and bounce off each other with an ease which is joyful to witness. Their ability to play so many characters is a testament to their strength as actors and their ability to swiftly change roles shows their versatility. Crucially though, they are able to switch without sacrificing the script or pace of the show.

The production is minimal, with the odd table and chair on an otherwise bare stage. Although this doesn’t detract from the show, a few visual aids, props and simple tricks would enhance and elevate the production to the next level.

However, considering the immense effort that goes into putting on a fringe show and that everything is done by the brothers themselves, what they have been able to create is still very impressive.

This show is a perfect reminder that the Fringe is vital in allowing new, emerging talent an opportunity to perform and experiment. If you want to support local talent while also having a good laugh, this is definitely one to see.

Running time: 50 minutes (no interval)
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall (Haldane Theatre) Nicolson Street, EH8 9DW (Venue 53)
Friday 5 – Saturday 27 August 2022
Daily (not 14, 21): 13:15 (Sun 21: 18:35)
Tickets and details: Book here.

Them is Brothers Social Media:
Twitter: @themisbrothers
Facebook: @Them-is-Brothers-Comedy-105280318847745
Instagram: @themisbrothers


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