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American Vaudeville - One4Review

Created and performed by Jon Morris and Scott Nankivel, American Vaudeville charts the rise and fall of this form of entertainment in the first quarter of the 20th century. Morris and Nankivel play a song and dance duo, Chester and Plunket. They successfully create a feeling for a long lost form of innocent entertainment. They put on a display of the corny gag routines, mime and slapstick humour. A newspaper routine was particularly well performed, illustrating how comedians from the silent era of films like Buster Keaton developed their skills in vaudeville. In the acting sequences we follow how Chester and Plunket rise to fame despite their disputes and falling for the same showgirl. They have a partnership for life. We know their optimism can’t last. Despite their professionalism, talking films and radio arrive and their career in vaudeville comes to an end. The ending is moving. American Vaudeville does show the importance of this period in the development of show business. Not all the vaudeville performers disappeared. Some went on to illustrious careers like Bob Hope whose career spanned almost a century of entertainment from vaudeville to stand up comedy. Also vaudeville was the inspiration for a whole generation of later performers such as our own Morecambe and Wise, and many younger performers at this very Fringe who, whether consciously or not, include elements of vaudeville in their acts. American Vaudeville is a fitting homage to vaudeville performers. ***  

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