Review: Britain's Got Talons at the Hen and Chickens is sadly lacking any claws
There is a germ of good idea in James Morton's Britain Got Talons unfortunately it never really grows into its potential.
The premise, a judge is murdered on a TV talent show and one of the contestants is in the frame, held potential for biting humour and a satirical look at obsession with celebrity and ratings. But three chuckles in an hour and a half does not a black comedy make.
I think the central problem is that it just doesn't say anything new and it doesn't say it in a clever way. The characters are morally bankrupt and self-obsessed media types which have been done many times before - and better - Patsy and Edina in Absolutely Fabulous spring immediately to mind. One, we learn, even had a nasty mother presumably to explain why she is such a bitch.
The two contestants we are introduced to are equally cliched, the Estuary English girl who is the manufactured baddie of the show and the good girl who just wants to sing.
There is a mild twist in the whodunit plot line but by then it too late to make any real impact. In fact, I think the plays was probably at its best as a murder mystery, albeit one that reminded me of those dinner party games you can buy where the fun is in dressing up and putting on silly accents than in actually solving the crime.
The actors work to the best of their abilities with a weak script that feels terribly contrived and clunky at times with one speech involving a gold fish that just had me rolling my eyes. Characters are under developed, although flash backs using home video clips attempt to address this.
Britain's Got Talons wouldn't get my vote, I'm afraid, which is a shame because it sounded like it could be fun. It runs at the Hen and Chicken's Theatre until May 4.