It’s a tough life being a Police Cop. In the final days of the Great War of the Machines, it’s tougher still being the orphaned son of the last Police Cop, Sammy Johnson’s legendary father Jimmy killed by the genocidal Tanner, leader of the robot faction.
Sammy now grown, he remembers the face of that robot, but what he does not know what drove Tanner to destroy the Police Cops, the prophecy that it was one of their organisation which would destroy him, so he set about exterminating them. Had Tanner known that Sammy would one day follow in his father’s footsteps to become “the best damn Police Cop in space,” he would surely have killed him too.
Running two shows back to back in the Edinburgh Fringe, Police Cops and Police Cops in Space, having just toured them across England and North America, the trio known as The Pretend Men (Zachary Hunt, Tom Roe and Nathan Parkinson) would have every reason to look exhausted yet there is no hint of that in their hyperactive performances which have been honed to perfection by their long stint in the multiple roles.
On turbo wings and with the hyperdrive jump of the Fire Eagle, piloted by the reticent Ranger who Sammy picked up at the Black Hole Bar on Planet Zed, with dynamic props, inventive entrances and exits and quick changes between shell suits, jump suits, leather jackets and swimming caps, sometimes less, the trio jump between star systems and experience battle, life, death, romance and dance.
Bouncing along at a terrific pace and daring to go places in human/robot relations that Blade Runner‘s bigger budget never considered, even the cast struggle occasionally to keep a straight face as they reverse time to defeat Tanner who has released the deadly but conflicted Project X against them even as their own damaged robot reboots believing it is a delicate Southern belle.
Manic, absurd, ridiculous and uplifting, their quest is driven by streaming sweat and bad jokes, and as their second successful Fringe run comes to an end they have stated to return next year in a new iteration, facing a new frontier and new challenges and undoubtedly delighting more audiences.
Police Cops in Space has concluded its Edinburgh run