Rebus McTaggart review - SkinnyFest 1

Article by Louise Boyle | 14 Aug 2006
Be grateful, festival goers: Rebus McTaggart (Richard Thomson) has some important information that may just save your life. Ecclefechan's leading fighter of drugs, terrorism and lost property comically confirms what we all suspected about the police force: that the 'Ne-Naw' siren's main function is to get them home in time for dinner and that crime scenes are nothing without a little creative licence. His knowledge of law and order knows no limitations in its sheer inventiveness. Playing morosely on commonplace and ludicrous presumptions about drugs and terrorism, McTaggart unwittingly satirises tabloid-inspired worries.

Thomson's other comic stereotypes fall flat due to the sheer exhaustiveness of continual costume changes, often leaving the audience ticking over with sound effects for longer than necessary. His miming of a clueless, drug-hunting police dog is amusing but too repetitive to keep laughter flowing. However, Thomson is a sharp improviser, drawing easily from any audience deviation that comes his way.

Rebus McTaggart is a worthy but predictable success, cleverly relying on the fact that universally, audiences need only minor encouragement to rip the pigs.

Rebus McTaggart, Underbelly, until August 27, 15:05, £8.50/£7.50 (£7.50/£6.50).