The Mighty Boosh at The Festival Theatre

The scintillating applause and screams from the packed Edinburgh Festival Theatre before The Mighty Boosh entered the stage was a clear demonstration of the fanbase Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt have created. With three hugely successful TV series behind them, a plethora of vivid characters and the lively Mighty Boosh band in their repetoire, there should be enough content to keep any audience entertained. When all is said and done, it’s easy to see why the expectation for this Mighty Boosh tour is so high.

The Mighty Boosh live tour advert

Fielding, as Vince Noir, is the show’s lifeblood. His entrance in a palatial boat immediately outshines Barratt’s Howard Moon who arrives in a cheap seaside dinghy. Vince Noir’s huge hairdryer, which blows Bob Fossil’s wig off is one of the show’s funnier moments. Everything which is great about The Mighty Boosh comes from Fielding. So it’s no surprise when his Moon creation steals the first-half, especially the rant about Michael Collins and how he never set foot on the moon. This was side splitting laughter inducing Boosh at its very best - though somewhat ironic the funniest moment was pre-recorded. Fielding’s Tony Harrison was also a welcome addition to the live stage, although this performance was tainted with uncomfortable crouching by Fielding in a confined space and fluffed lines.

Many characters are present for The Mighty Boosh Live, with the notable exception of the fans’ favourite Old Gregg - surprising considering Crackfox makes a brief appearance in a bin. The worst aspect of The Mighty Boosh’s first half was the inability of the script to use the riches on offer. Naboo, Bollo and Howard Moon just didn’t have the content to impress - the creativity and tightness of the TV script didn’t manifest itself anywhere near enough on stage. The Mighty Boosh band, who were excellent, added impetus and enjoyment - they were definitely the unique highlight of the live show.

The second half was awful. Without Vince Noir’s intervention, to interrupt a dreadfully unfunny play lead by Howard Moon, it would have fallen completely flat. A later appearance by the Honey Monster, whose head is ripped off a few times raises a few laughs. As does the revelation of Howard Moon and his Jazz magazine photo-shoot. The Mighty Boosh band also got some atmosphere back. But by this point the damage was done. At £25 a ticket I would have expected a lot more.

In fairness to The Mighty Boosh I watched only the second night of the live tour. The mistakes will go and the content will get better. In fairness to the general public The Mighty Boosh I saw wasn’t a preview show; if it’s treated as one by the cast the tickets shouldn’t be full price. Also, the second half just does not work - one of two or the TV shows do isolate the audience somewhat, but I wouldn’t have expected material in the live show to isolate the audience as much as it did.

It’s worth noting the interval lasted for nearly thirty minutes - plenty of opportunity for the packed merchandise stalls to sell their t-shirts. The Mighty Boosh live: some great moments in the first-half, depressed by a very mediocre second. At least we get to see the Mighty Boosh’s characters live, which was more than enough for most of the excitable audience.

5 Responses to “The Mighty Boosh at The Festival Theatre”

  1. I completely agree, the first half was amazing so funny, even when noel couldnt crouch in the chair properly to do his Tony Harrison character the audience were still laughing, (all be it at his misfortune)

    the second half was dissapointing-still got some laughs but was dissapointed at the lack of a kind of storyline like they had in the first live show. ‘Sunflash’ was funnier now that I look back on it, but that is because Noel is generally funny in any character.

    I went on the first night (thursday) and was dissapointed to not have an appearance of crackfox, and with them not knowing their lines, well at all, vince had them written on his hand (this was however cute!!lol!)

    Doing the crazed stalker thing after the show by waiting round at the back door was definatley worth it. the guys were all lovely, and julian suprisingly soft and well spoken.

    I looked forward to seeing the Boosh for ages, and now that I have I just want to see them again, would love to know the outcome when they come back around in January when all the niggles are sorted.

    Highlight of the evening…Noel said he liked my dress!

  2. Noel = Talentless

    Julian = Talent

  3. I went to see the show on the third night of the tour. I have to say that I actually enjoyed the second half as much as the first. Yes, there were some mistakes and fluffed lines, but I felt that the reaction of the cast added to the comedy. On the way home we all felt that we wanted to go and watch it again.
    I have bought tickets for the last night of the tour, and am curious to see what changes will have come about during the course of the tour. I expect to see a bit of a different show!
    Overall, I would say that this show was incredibly funny, but you need to come to it expecting something different from the previous tour.
    I’m looking forward to January!

  4. As a massive Boosh fan who went to one of the later shows, I have to say I think it was superb. Sunflash was hilarious in his own chavenese way. Fossil’s dancing session was definately a highlight, along with Crackfox, The Hitcher and Tony Harrison (not in it enough!).
    The one thing I think the show suffers from is how “glitzy” it has become. Inexpensive sets and dodgy costumes were all part of it’s original charm. But I suppose that is to be expected with the show’s success.
    Either way, I loved it!

  5. “Tony Harrison was also a welcome addition to the live stage, although this performance was tainted with uncomfortable crouching by Fielding in a confined space and fluffed lines.”

    I think you missed the point on this. The only feasible way of getting Tony on stage would be something rather obvious and ‘rough around the edges’. They made a good call to deliberately play this up (it’s a part of every show) rather then try to glaze over it and potentially something go really wrong.

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