We weren’t quite sure what to expect from ATW’s latest offering at The Institute. Billed as a Variety Show – was it the anticipated cabaret of all the old sketches to celebrate their 40th anniversary? –certainly the rather thin Friday audience was seated in cabaret style
Well we certainly got variety! I counted 18 separate turns put together by director Jamie Cox, whose energy and effort in pulling this all together in just four weeks in our time-poor life was a remarkable achievement.
As ever with such a mix we had some great hits and some serious misses, with a lot of the new stuff let down by poor scripts, and surprisingly for ATW, a complete lack of topicality and local colour. The evening was held together by the wonderful Gary Leonardi as our MC and stand-up comic, but even he struggled to get the laughs, and on Friday was bailed out by the lugubrious Justin O’Toole coming out of the audience to tell the lovely balloon joke.