Review – Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy!

Someone’s kidnapped a bunch of spoonbeaks and now it’s up to Nelly Cootalot to rescue them. Why? Because a ghost pirate said so!


  • One Man, many voices: Alystair Becket-Smith, creator of Nelly Cootalot voices all male characters in the game and he does a pretty damn good job, as every character feels unique in their own way. It’s impressive really.
  • Fun & Silly: The world of Nelly Cootalot is funny, silly and full of wonderful charm. Considering this is a remaster of a very old game, it’s surprising how well the comedy holds up. It’s still as funny and charming now as it was when first created.
  • Canny Pirate: Going into Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! I expected puzzles to be simple and just about finding the next segment of the inventory puzzle chain, but instead I found many instances of clever curve-balls thrown my way and I loved that.


  • End of Prologue: Spoonbeaks Ahoy is a fun game but a very short one, with very few locations to visit and puzzles to solve, making it feel more like a prologue to its sequel than a standalone game in the series.


Surprisingly Good TV – The Good Place

Have you ever gone through TV channels or through your Netflix account, looking at the many names of shows and just skipping over them, perhaps with a momentary judgement towards them? Maybe their names seem over the top or the logo seems silly, or perhaps even the genre is not your usual thing.

But then, one day, you’re extremely bored or you read or heard about some of those shows or films and decide, “yeah, I’ll watch the first episode,” and suddenly “how bad could it be?” turns into a day or binge-watching an entire season, or looking forward to the next week’s entry. Continue reading Surprisingly Good TV – The Good Place

Peter Pan Goes Wrong – Stage to TV

Last year I reviewed (sort of) the wonderful comedy play Peter Pan Goes Wrong by Mischief Theatre. I loved it, despite a weak second act, and it surprised me, pleasantly that is, to see that the show would become a BBC Christmas special for the end of 2016, this time with Mr. Poirot himself, David Suchet, as the narrator for the story.

While the show makes the transition well enough, you lose some of the things that make Mischief Theatre productions so special. Continue reading Peter Pan Goes Wrong – Stage to TV

Learning & Laughing – The Rich Hall Documentaries

A couple of weeks ago while at the office, a colleague and I were discussing the latest events happening in the USA since the presidential election, commenting on anything from the electoral system to the international implications. Along the way, they mentioned something about a documentary called “The Presidential Grudge Match.”

As someone with boundless curiosity for most things, I decided to give documentary a watch and found it fascinating. I’m not usually into politics but this documentary, hosted by comedian Rich Hall, delved into the nature of the American electoral system as well as its history, all with a fantastic dose of humour, sarcasm and cynicism.

Rich Hall
Fascinating stuff

Continue reading Learning & Laughing – The Rich Hall Documentaries

A Night in the Theatre – Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is the spin-off of a wonderful play I had the pleasure of seeing last year in Covent Garden: The Play that Goes Wrong. It was an unusual comedy, where the actors portrayed less talented performers from a frankly terrible theatre company putting on a murder mystery. Things don’t go as planned and hilarity ensued.

Later that year I heard about Peter Pan Goes Wrong and its limited run but sadly, at the time, I couldn’t come over to see it. So imagine my surprise when I saw they were doing it again this year. I literally jumped for joy, and I don’t do that very often.

This was such a pleasant surprise!
This was such a pleasant surprise!

I went to see Peter Pan Goes Wrong on Saturday, on the 2nd day of its current run, which lasts until January 2017, at the Apollo Theatre in the West End. To make sure I had the best experience I dished out some extra money for the Grand Circle, on reading it had extra leg room, something that due to my height is always a necessity.

As someone who knew The Play that Goes Wrong, the moment I sat down I kept my eyes open, hoping to notice anything weird. What makes the plays that Mischief Theatre puts on so special is that they start well before the curtain rises, with cast members moving around the audience, chatting away or simply using them for some situational or slapstick comedy. The actors playing stagehands work furiously on the rinky-dink set to make sure everything is in working conditions.

And so the audience has a few giggles, particularly when Bailey Patrick takes the stage as the head technician and does everything he tells the audience not to do during the show, from having their mobiles on to taking photos.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong
A wonderful cast for a hilarious play!

It was a pleasure to see Harry Kershaw again as the director of the play from the “The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society,” joined now by the assistant director played by Oliver Senton. They have a bitter rivalry over who made the worst mistake in the past and together recount some of the more unusual past Christmas plays put on by the Drama society, such as “Jack and the Bean,” the stalk cut out due to financial reasons.

What follows is pure insanity, another of Mischief Theatre’s exercises in controlled chaos, with a choreographed series of accidents and unfortunate events, from Peter Pan’s harness sending him flying against walls to the Darling children’s bunk-beads collapsing on top of one another.

The writing in Peter Pan Goes Wrong is clever, witty and manages to bring in the actual lines from the classic while still mixing it with the improvisations the cast have to make when things start to spiral out of control.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong
The musical numbers are fantastic as well

Having said so, the first half of Peter Pan Goes Wrong is stronger, as there is still a sense of normality in the Polytechnic’s play, so the crazy events have a bigger impact. On the second half, while still astoundingly hilarious, the audience already expects the worst. Still, the sheer level of madness with which Mischief Theatre tops itself minute to minute is amazing.

When the play ultimately goes out of control, it’s in a storm of out of control harnesses, a revolving set without brakes, a sing-along, a little girl in a wheelchair and cast in between costumes.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong
Things spiral way out of control!

One this Peter Pan Goes Wrong does much better than its murder mystery counterpart is how it manages to have backstage subplots in addition to the craziness happening onstage. The two-timing Peter Pan, the bad actor with a heart of gold only there because the company needs his family’s money, the rather sultry Wendy, the stage-frightened child actress and the two bickering directors and more blend together seamlessly amidst the chaos and give the audience a hero to root for and more reasons to laugh.

The moments when the play suddenly turns into a pantomime had me in stitches, with Captain Hook asking “Oh where could Pan be?” and the rest of the audience shouting “Behind you!” much to his chagrin. I thought I would pass out then. I could not breathe from laughing so hard.

Peter Pan goes wrong is phenomenal and I recommend it for everyone. It’s astonishing how they pull off so many technical gags with harnesses, falling equipment, a black screen with glowing fishes and more, while at the same time telling multiple stories that come to a satisfying conclusion in the middle of a song and dance routine! I honestly love Mischief Theatre and next time I’m going to see their latest play, Comedy About Bank Robbery!

On a final note: I hate the Apollo Theatre, as there is very little space. With the limited leg room and the packed theatre, after the intermission I had to see the play standing at the back. From sitting in the same uncomfortable position my knees ached and my legs cramped. If I ever have to go back to that theatre, and for Peter Pan Goes Wrong I would, I’ll sit in the front row, then at least I might have enough room to stretch.

Jokes, Fiction and Horror – My Favourite Documentaries

I know, documentaries, here? Me? Isn’t it all supposed to be silly stories and games? Most of the time yes, but I do like my occasional documentary, either telling me a bit of history or culture that I didn’t know about (I do love learning about new places and people) or speaking of an interesting or controversial subject.

Now, I won’t bore you with the dozen of World War documentary series I’ve enjoyed over the years, particularly while discussing with my brother-in-law how you could make films out of some of the tales. Well, ok, I’ll tell you about one. There’s a documentary on spies on American Netflix where you could make the ultimate action movie just pulling the many one-liners the spies supposedly said while doing their awesome stuff. I honestly can’t remember the name, but any of them are worth watching!

With that out of the way, let’s talk about my five favourite documentaries. This list isn’t in any particular order, by the way. I can’t really decide which among these I like the best. Continue reading Jokes, Fiction and Horror – My Favourite Documentaries

Beautiful Stories – Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

I’m a sucker for romance. I’m not ashamed to say it. I’m a romantic at heart and I have a thing for romance stories, but they have to be good ones. Trashy romance novels with shirtless men on the cover won’t interest me for even a minute, nor do I enjoy those forced, obsessive and frankly insane romance stories Stephanie Meyer spawned into the world.

But you give me a good romance, one that feels natural and organic, and you’ll hook me. Continue reading Beautiful Stories – Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Review: Uncle Buck (2016)

Parents out-of-town, no one to watch them but their irresponsible no-good uncle. Yes, it’s Uncle Buck, but not the one you remember, with the amazing John Candy, but the remake…on TV no less…and no, not the 1990s disaster, but another one this year. Continue reading Review: Uncle Buck (2016)

Review: Life Goes On: Done to Death

The King has seen the face of death and decided he doesn’t want that, death is so boring after all. So he sends his knights on a valiant quest to recover the Cup of Life so he may be immortal. Sure, many of them will die, but who cares? Life Goes On, after all!

Continue reading Review: Life Goes On: Done to Death

Preview: Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure

One of the first lessons you learn in the Lovecraftian Mythos is stay the hell away from magic, even more so from the Necronomicon. No one told this to Buzz and his acquaintance, who’s now in the hands of some crazy cultists. To make things worse, or funnier, Buzz’s cat got hit with a random spell and started talking, or as he puts it “became a horrible abomination.”

Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure, a point & click adventure game in development and currently on Kickstarter has one thing going for it that I found even funnier than the rest of the demo: the game’s studio, Stuck in Attic, is from Transylvania. With how much we tie Transylvania to horror thanks to Bram Stoker’s novel—my favourite by the way—the fact these guys are making a comedy-horror just cracks me up. Just me that finds it funny? Let’s move along then. Continue reading Preview: Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure