Following its successful debut in 2011, Hats Off is back by popular demand. This comedy revue is described as a mix of Tom Lehrer, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Monty Python, as well as suitable for anyone with a pulse.
Jonathan Roxmouth (award-winning star of Phantom of the Opera) and Louis Zurnamer (musical director of the same) wear a variety of hats as they explore the wild world of Donald Swann and Michael Flanders, a popular British comedy duo from the 1950s and 1960s.
Hats Off includes many songs from the 11-year partnership, on topics ranging from décor and renovations, thermodynamics and Madeira wine, to warthogs and hippos and a famous gnu. It's in the same spirit as last year's Topsy Turvy, which makes it an unexpected treat for those not familiar with this crazy style.
Extremes of frivolous fun and serious satire
With shows like this, it can be tricky to find the right balance between the extremes of frivolous fun (with the puns that can sometimes get cheesy) and serious satire (with the political humour that can sometimes offend). But, as was the case with Fascinating Aïda, which managed to be both entertaining and insightful, Hats Off (mostly) steers clear of the awkward moments that are more likely to elicit cringes than laughs.
Perhaps it's a good idea to remember that shows like this aren't meant to be taken too seriously, nor should they try to be too serious just to make a point. Real life is dreary enough already. Sometimes a little silliness is all that we need.
Hats Off is at Cape Town's Theatre on the Bay until 6 July. Tickets are available from Computicket.