Last Thursday was the second instalment of the rebooted Club Fantastico, Steve Oram and Tom Meeten’s gloriously cockeyed comedy night at The Vandella. Velveteer Mog was on hand to report back on the proceedings:
Every day of this so-called summer it’s rained. Every night it’s poured. And then on Thursday evening Club Fantastico came to West London. Still it rained. But for two hours it didn’t matter – because the sun shone inside The Vandella.
The limitations of the English language make describing Club Fantastico something of a challenge. “Warm-hearted insanity” comes close, as does “drunken dreamscape comedy”, but they only really scratch the surface of what the show is about. To give you an idea, last week’s gig included a tennis-playing pixie and a tug of love between disco-loving brothers (Oram & Meeten) who tried to win the heart of a leotard-clad Alice Lowe by force-feeding her carrots and cocaine. Oram’s towering platform boots deserve their own comedy night!
Then there was a phonecall with Erol the pet lizard, musical interludes from Gary Le Stange, and a beauty pageant featuring the woman from the 1980’s Timotei ads, Britain’s most dangerous woman (who legged it through the front door of the venue) and a sexed-up militant lesbian (Waen Shepherd in eye-popping form). The lesbian won, in case you were wondering.
Add to this the brilliantly daft ‘Spoon-iscope’ (“Feeding peanuts over distance”) and Tom Meeten as the red man in the corner of Steve Oram’s tramp’s eye (think Edward Scissorhands meets George Galloway on Big Brother 2006), and you’re almost there.
All of this is underpinned and anchored by the magical double-act dynamic of Oram & Meeten themselves. When they’re both on stage you can’t help but giggle – it’s a lovely thing to behold.
Club Fantastico will be back later in the year, so if it’s physically possible to get yourself to Shepherds Bush when it’s happening, just make sure you do.