Anna and Helen @ Pleasance Courtyard

Anna and Helen are asking the important question: "Have you ever been stuck in a rat?"

Review by Thomas Hamill | 03 Aug 2019
  • Anna and Helen

Anna and Helen are asking the important question: "Have you ever been stuck in a rat?" Surely it’s ‘rut’, but Anna is defiant that being stuck in a rat is just as bad. Besides, the posters and matching t-shirts have already been printed. 

The high energy duo are full throttle from the get-go, kicking off the hour with a loud musical interlude involving Munch’s The Scream flashing up on the projector that sits between the piano and drum kit they are each perched at. Next, they jump on their feet and take on the role of obliviously shambolic life coaches, trying to help the audience get out of their rats. 

The two have an endearing oddball quality and bounce off each other to great comic effect, with Anna often screwing up and Helen trying to find a way to keep it all moving. The pair perform this chaotic couple act beautifully to coax out their audience’s full laughter potential. The sloppily co-ordinated actions that accompany the life-coach spiels are a particular highlight.

Variation between the infomercial-esque sections to the musical and sketch pieces bring a great energy to the show and they slide between each in seamless fashion. The sheer variety of comedy styles seems ambitious but are well done, often building gradually towards a fun and unexpected reveal. 

All in all, Stuck in a Rat has a steady stream of laughs throughout and keeps up a charmingly silly quality which is sure to leave giddy grins on audiences’ faces long after they leave. There’s no big message, no preachy bits or sentimental endings; just a lot of fun to be had in an hour of tight comedy, well performed.

Anna and Helen: Stuck in a Rat, Pleasance Courtyard (Attic), until 26 Aug (not 13), 5.45pm, £8-£11