An anti-capitalist kids' show? There's certainly a strong theme about valuing your local businesses in this slapstick hour from comedians Jody Kamali and Jo Neary, as well as a definite dash of Fawlty Towers. Fernando (Kamali) is manager of the family-owned Topsy-Turvy Hotel, welcoming an audience of parents and kids into a TARDIS-sized room. Together with cleaning-obsessed Peggy (Neary), he brings his own unique brand of housekeeping to bear on his guests, while evil property tycoon Roger Bungalow tries to nab the business with the help of fake inspector, Bagshot.
The timing could be snappier in a few places and the references of some of the jokes are more '80s than today. But there’s a lot of fun audience participation to be had, as Fernando and Peggy contrive to wrap up various hapless parent volunteers in bed sheets and encourage clearly overjoyed kids to throw rubber balls at them in slow motion. A gregarious Kamali brings a lot of energy to his multiple roles (which include the baddie, Bungalow, and Topsy-Turvy’s dimwitted Jeff the Chef), while Neary’s comic timing and gleefully eccentric ad-libbing with the audience contribute many of the show’s biggest laughs.
There are props-a-plenty and some reliable "He’s behind you!" along the way. Some funny misspelt hotel signs in the background hit a slightly off-key note, but generally this is a boisterously entertaining show. If you have young kids, you could do worse than checking into The Topsy-Turvy Hotel.