Jimmy Johnson wanted to be an actor, consistently given the lead in every school play; it was his older sister who had wanted to be a Police Cop, her acceptance to the Academy the first step to her career which would allow them both to follow their dreams until tragedy struck. Alone in the world other than his comatose father, Jimmy instead followed his sister, not in dying, but in deciding to become “the best damn Police Cop ever.”
Their fourth show presented at the Fringe following the original Police Cops, the science fiction sequel Police Cops in Space and the horror-tinged Badass Be Thy Name, the trio of Zachary Hunt, Tom Roe and Nathan Parkinson are joined by Miztli Rose Neville and Gabriella Leon for another hour and a half of choreographed mayhem in Police Cops: The Musical.
Their previous shows always having included an element of musical, here it is unleashed in their most artistically ambitious show, revealing that in addition to being hugely entertaining performers of theatrical comedy they are all equally infuriatingly talented singers as they blast through a power-pop showtunes as the bullets fly and Jimmy’s first lead investigation into the mysterious crime lord Hernandez is derailed by corruption within the department.
A bad apple in the Police Cops, the most dedicated and respected force in all of law enforcement? Hard to believe, but it must be true because they’ve written a song about it, performed a dance routine, staged a montage and had at least two costume changes per scene (naked is a costume change, right?) along with occasional acrobatics and a devious kitten plotting drug distribution domination, but it’s not the eighties until they’ve also added a guitar solo on top.
Similarly, it’s not Police Cops until there has been reckless abandonment of the accepted rules of handling props, not to mention endangerment of minors when Jimmy takes a one-way trip to Mexico and finds himself at the Old Gonzalez Orphanage for Babies Who Cannot Crawl run by Juanita Gonzalez, disgraced and eccentric former chief of the Police Cops who sets Jimmy back on the wavy and wide to justice.
Neville and Leon excellent additions to the established ensemble, together they take every buddy cop movie cliché, put it through a blender and gleefully splash the chunky residue across the stage, no indignity beneath them in their manic performances, Police Cops: The Musical a production of such high energy it is almost exhausting to watch.
Police Cops: The Musical runs at Assembly George Square until Monday 29th August