Fizzing with energy from beginning to end, Nathan Parkinson, Zachary Hunt and Tom Roe absolutely storm their performance of Police Cops at Pleasance Dome.
A mash-up of all the police tv shows you’ve ever seen, The Pretend Men Theatre Company tell the story of Officers Johnson and Harrison and their mission to stop Mexican drug lord, Hernandez.
Set in a time when most men had moustaches and drove Ford Mustangs, Police Cops panders to no sort of political correctness. We’re told that, “the best officers don’t listen to the rules; they listen to their balls.” Try saying that line in a Ben Stiller voice and you’ll have an idea of the alternative comedy we’re dealing with here.
Police Cops takes place in an intensely homoerotic world where men get their chests out as often as physically possible, and officers spend the weekend riding bare back and bare chested in the beauty of the American countryside. I’m sure the level of nudity and muscle flexing is there to make a serious comment on the entrenchment of macho culture in American society, but it’s also very funny. On-stage nudity aside, there’s a lot of fun to be had just watching the number of costume changes these three go through during the one hour gig. This show is incredibly slick; comic timing is spot on- as are their dance moves (what would a police drama be without a dance montage?).
Their security in the performance means they are free to improvise here and there. At one point Harrison (Roe) is asked why he became a police cop; he begins the most ridiculous story about his father owning a sweet shop and the kids who stole lots of (insert ridiculous name of sweet here) from him. The audience lapped it up.
The cast aren’t immune to the yelps of laughter coming from the audience either, and there are a fair few moments of near corpsing- all the more enjoyable for us. It’s great to see that after a good year or so of honing this show The Pretend Men still get a lot of pleasure from performing it, and whether they get 5 star reviews or not, word of mouth will ensure that Police Cops sells out as nearly everyone was applauding on their feet by the show’s end.
Police Cops plays at Pleasance Dome August 13-16, 18-23, 25-28 and performances begin at 21:45.