Dick and Dom in Da’ Montfort Hall: the kings of improv return for their 20th anniversary tour
Review by John Perry
Hearing the sweet sound of “bogies!” being howled from every direction was a great start to a night of nostalgia and brought a flashback moment to my childhood. It was like being in my front room at age 11 all over again. 2002 seems a lifetime ago since first seeing these household names invade our weekends. But here we are in 2023 sharing smiles again with them.
The masters of mayhem, the kings of improv and the jesters of the BBC. Da’ Bungalow provided me with smiles, laughter and escape from school. It was just a historic moment of children’s entertainment. Something you had to grow up with to understand how special it truly was.
Twenty years later – yes, 20 years – they haven’t changed a bit. Well, minus the flabby bits on their stomachs as Dick referred to them.
Returning with an all-new 2023 in Da’ Bungalow nationwide tour for their 20th anniversary of the hit kids TV show. Remember these guys are quadruple Bafta-award winning presenters. They know how to get a laugh and sell some tickets to the masses.
Besides dominating the De Montfort Hall stage with their incredible talent for cleverly immature and family focused comedy, they break the fourth wall almost constantly throughout the two-plus hours of insanity, and invite audience members to become their torture victims or as they like to refer to them, bungalow heads.
We saw arguments about if celery was a vegetable that resulted in Dom asking the audience to google the answer, mute interrogations from shy contestants with DI Harry Batt, not to mention grown adults wearing underwear on their head and dancing to the ”Pants Dance” song.
Out of context, this entire show seems utterly ludicrous. However, trust me, it makes sense in the moment. These two guys owned the era with their fantastic dry and silly humour. Nothing has changed with their stage show.
It has been years, and I mean years since I have cried with laughter. Side-splitting doesn’t cut it, they disembowelled the audiences’ funny bones and rattled them till they cackled with madness, not being able to take anymore. Then that is when they let you have a few minutes recovery with an interval. Every joke, audience interaction and mishap melded into a show that just felt totally natural. Nothing was faked. Nothing felt forced or out if place. It’s as if they never left our lives, oir our screens.
One of the many highlights was their bungalow cat, a puppet voiced by the strongest northern accent I have ever heard. He sang a song of Leicester, rhyming dry comedic lines with the audience about sites and things they visited before the evening show – referring to Richard III’s museum as the car park corpse show. That attention to detail to get a laugh is masterful. Never insulting us, just a simple tease.
Between the clapping along to memorable songs from the original TV series. The cheering from the crowd as old faces returned, and the jesters themselves pointing out the odd empty seat and need for the tour to make money. You really didn’t have time to breathe between the next infectious smirk they slammed on your face. It was rapid, witty, and outrageous comedy at its finest.
The show climaxes with Dick, Dom and all the participant bungalow heads covered in ”Creamy Muk Muk” attacking each-other as the Ace of Spades plays violently in the background. Just like the original TV counterpart. Certainly, you cannot deny the show is as advertised, and it was indeed the messiest night in the UK and I could not fault it an inch.
If you need a night of reminiscing simpler times, or just need a laugh. They captured the spirit of what made the TV show so special in mere seconds and I can confidently say there is no better comedy act in the UK right now to spend your hard-earned money on than Dick and Dom. So, go knock their door, watch out for purple carpet stains, and visit their infamous bungalow. Just make sure to bring a brolly for to avoid the mess in the front row.