Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence by Keith Pattison
It was inevitable that the public voting format would infiltrate theatre. No Idea at The Young Vic reveals, with almost a total lack of surprise, the public often has no idea what they want, and end up sharing what they think - and that's the sneak tactic at the heart of this part-verbatim theatre, part-improvised, part-comedy sketch show.
Lisa Hammond, a regular with Told By An Idiot and Improbable wanted to make a show with Improbable regular, Rachael Spence. Having no ideas for a show themselves, they asked the public for suggestions. How many included Hammond's disability and Spence's visible lack of? How many deliberately did NOT mention the size difference or the wheelchair? And could there be any less helpful suggestions than "you should have Phil Mitchell in it" and "if I saw two women on stage, I would think it would be a serious show. It wouldn't be funny."
No Idea is very funny. Despite Hammond, Spence and the public trying to rise above the usual cliches, strange new cliches arise and there's a rousing cockney singalong based on the many well-meant comments on Hammond's 'cheeky face' - that stereotype about people 'okay' with their difference, sitting proud and chirpy in their wheelchairs. So let's all have a song! Some delightful improvisations on further suggestions fill the show; Spence is magnificently silly in a solo film montage, and the duo are adept at developing gags so they repeat, expand and encompass observations on the public's perception of them. There's little anger or outrage, nor a strong urge to educate or challenge. No Idea is an enjoyable, good humoured and subtle exploration of what the public says - and what that means they're actually thinking.
No Idea at Young Vic Theatre, until 31 July. For tickets, go to the Young Vic website.