The Escapade of the Burmese Burglary

Dom and Joe Male

Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre

Gilded Balloon

From 18 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

Yvonne Arnaud‘s Youth Theatre's second show at this year’s Fringe is a very different genre from their The Sea Child.

The Escapade of the Burmese Burglary is a tongue-in-cheek musical detective romp. The characters are exceedingly stereotypical, the plot is fairly predictable and it’s played with over-the-top performances.

Scotland Yard’s super sleuth Ebenezer Erskine-Crummet, who is really not particularly bright, and his long-suffering assistant Rosaline Westmacott are sent to investigate the murder of the Head of Security at the British-Burmese bank in London.

World-wide traveller Richard (“call me Dick”) has discovered the priceless diamond the Star of Bhutan that is to be put on display at the British Museum.

Extra security is needed to protect this precious stone and Erskine-Crummet and Rosaline are assigned to the task. What they didn’t expect was the female Australian security guard, Kitty, who has also been given the job and doesn’t trust the detective.

The jewel is being displayed in the Buckingham wing of the museum funded by the highly camp Hilary Buckingham who made his fortune selling rivets—cue the song about his rise to fortune.

His daughter Lindsey has some plans that are going to alter the scheme of things. Then there is Dr Alfine, the curator, who has a deep secret that increases the tension.

But when the Jewel is stolen, the hunt is on to find it and the criminal who has it with some shockingand surprising results.

The staging is very simple with boards on an easel giving the title of the scene, which works. There some jaunty songs, all performed with playful commitment.

This enthusiastic young cast sing, dance and act well and embrace their characters with relish. They have great fun with more than a touch of panto innuendo and some seriously bad puns.

Directed by Rob Cann and Adam Forde, this is a thoroughly enjoyable production.