WITH Ade Edmondson and Nigel Planer at the helm and on the stage,what could POSSIBLY go wrong?
Vulcan 7, their latest joint venture, finds them as two RADA alumni 40 years after their student days, discovering themselves reluctantly sharing a trailer on the set of episode 7 of a monster superhero movie on the slopes of an Icelandic volcano in a time of seismic disturbance.
It’s silly and it’s quite hilarious.
Planer is Hugh Delavois, an ack-tor who never quite made the big time but has carved out a niche for naice English men and butlers … indeed he’s butling here in the Vulcan franchise, trusted assistant to the hero.
And as luck would have it, an old mate has been cast as one of the Thermidons, a “skin role” in full monster costume. Gary’s once stellar career has been torpedoed by his own aggression, unreliability and general bad behaviour, and with his youthful charisma gone, he’s almost unemployable.
And Hugh has history with Gary, who once made a fool of him at a publicly important gig, a prank that has gone viral on YouTube and is still getting hits.
With the volcano rumbling under the trailer, they are increasingly perilously confined to reminiscence and retribution
All the while the set runner, Leela, played with perfect timing by Lois Chimimba, is celebrating her 24th birthday, trying to sort them out and get the filming under way.
And the glacier is moving unusually quickly as the weather is closing in.
Fans of The Young Ones (incredibly only six months in the lives of Planer, Edmondson and the late Rik Mayall in 12 episodes almost 35 years ago) will delight in their antics, as Vulcan 7 provides a manic contemplation of The Actor’s Life in the 21st century, full of affections, jealousies, conquests, failures, anecdotes and antipathies all brilliantly set (by Simon Higlett) in a clever confection of flashy trailer and trashy monster paraphernalia.
And poor old Judi Dench – not to mention Daniel Day-Lewis.
A good laugh on an autumn evening, Vulcan 7 is at Bath until Saturday.
Photographs by Nobby Clark