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Scandimaniacs on the loose at Joanna's place

PUBLISHED: 16:47 27 May 2009 | UPDATED: 17:28 16 August 2010

THE Blue Elephant Theatre is a charming little venue off the Walworth Road patronised, we are told, by Joanna Lumley, writes Edward Martyn.

THE Blue Elephant Theatre is a charming little venue off the Walworth Road patronised, we are told, by Joanna Lumley, writes Edward Martyn.

Ideal for cabaret or small-scale productions, it has a friendly bar and welcoming staff.

Unfortunately, Scandimaniacs - a couple of Swedish performers trying their luck in London, seem to be unsure whether they are attempting political satire, social awareness lessons, or trying to launch an entry for the next Eurovision Song Contest.

Pig-tailed and mustachioed Emil Lager and ice blonde Sara Lewerth appear, dressed in Spanish inspired package holiday entertainers costumes. Red and black is everywhere.

Emil is excellent on the Spanish guitar, but his trousers need a belt (Try East Street Market, Emil)

Sara, in a red frou-frou dress, is unusually gawky - perhaps the red high-heels are an inch too high?

And her blonde quiff is drawn severely back, giving the impression of an ill-tempered school teacher.

Overall, they look rather like guests on the Morecombe & Wise Show.

After introducing themselves musically, they engage in light banter with the enthusiastic audience, but a lot of their one liners, spoken rapidly, on and off mike, are lost in translation.

However, we joined in the mood of zany fun, and a political song 'You're An Idiot' had us all obediently smacking our foreheads in time to the music, but wondering just who the idiots actually were.

I am not a fan of Snoop Dogg, but I really think I would have preferred his version of a rap inspired number to the one offered here, finishing up as it did, with a self-conscious sally into the audience to administer 'High Fives' to the local Yoof.

A song in French showed off their impeccable international credentials, but left the audience mystified and unsure who was the object of the satire, or indeed if it was satirical at all.

Titanic was musically re-launched and then sunk without trace, leaving Emil struggling in the icy water and falling prey to a passing whale, who swallowed him, guitar and all, leaving only ghostly music emanating from his bowels (The whale's) while his girlfriend shivered to order, but offered no other assistance.

A modest striptease followed, where Emil removed his tie and hairband and Sara her shawl.

I don't think either the Lord Chamberlain or the PC Police would have objected to this one.

Sara then revealed her one outstanding talent - an ability to do the splits in high heels, and we moved swiftly on to a social awareness song 'Think About Animals, And Think About The Poor'. Was this a cruel p*ss-take, or an appeal to our underused consciences?

'Take Me To Hollywood' is the name of the show and the final song.

It's a catchy number, performed with brio and a dash of desperation, but on the evidence of this preview I don't think Simon Cowell will be paying their fares to Tinsel Town anytime soon. Edward Martyn

l Take Me To Hollywood is at the Blue Elephant Theatre until June 6. Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions) and are available at the box office on 020 7701 0100.

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