Punchbag Playhouse is back at Ottawa Fringe this year with their new show Junior Sleuths. Should you see it?
Junior Sleuths follows two teams of youth detectives who compete against each other to be the best in the city, every time bamboozling the inept police department with their deductive and reasoning skills. That is, until competition becomes too intense and boundaries are crossed on all levels.
This show is over the top, from its conception, to its script and its acting, and at the very start of the show it works. It’s ridiculous and right off the top very funny, but unfortunately that endearing nature becomes annoying very quickly.
Eventually it becomes evident that the show is trying way too hard to be weird and campy that it seems to stop making sense. The show puts most of its time into a build-up that doesn’t have any real payoff and flies into a nonsensical ending that is simply a vile and unfunny prison rape joke.
The bright light in this uneven cacophony of noise was that of Nicholas David Amott whose character, until the end, was the most consistently written and acted. Amott was a dependable and reliable actor when he was on stage despite the cheap and sometimes offensively unfunny jokes.
I really wanted to like this show. I thought the idea was great and have enjoyed Punchbag Playhouse in the past, unfortunately it just wasn’t clever, funny or engaging.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think. What did you think of the over the top acting? What is your take (without too big of spoilers) on the ending of this show? Join the discussion and tell me what you think in the comments below!