The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Did I Believe You Should Look Around You?

by The Masked Barfly on April 7, 2011 in Comedy, Theatre

At the Wellingtonista, we love us some live theatre and comedy. About the only things we love more are bars and hard liquor, so when a PR company offered us some vodka to give away as a promotion for a comedy show staged in a bar, how could we resist?

As it turns out, quite easily. While “Did I Believe It?”, a parody of 1970s British science shows, does indeed sound like it could be fun, as some of the more Anglophile Wellingtonistas pointed out, it did sound an awful lot like “Look Around You” by the brilliant Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz. An awful lot like it. And you know what? That’s exactly what Popper and Serafinowicz thought too.

After first expressing surprise and consternation on Twitter, they did the right and proper thing: they created a parody account for Did I Believe It (or at least, we presume it was them). It’s funny, but not quite as ridiculous as the real Did I Believe It Twitter account, given the latter’s transparent promotion of the sponsor’s product. And no intentional comedy can even come close to the satirical management-speak brilliance of the show’s own PR:

“We’re really trying to radicalise the audience experience. We’re interested in shifting and changing the parameters of how we tell stories. The ultimate take out is [the audience] have a really unexpected time … Around that time 42 Below were also looking to create something experiential,” he says of the joint venture.

Retro-computer nerds (or those who are merely old enough and sad enough to actually remember it) might also get a laugh out of the exhortation to “Power up your overhead projector and flick the switch on your Commodore 64. Take a trip back to 1978…” Wait: a C64 in 1978?!

Don’t let us put you off: it could very well be a very amusing experience. It would just be very nice if they didn’t blather on about how radical and original it is to stage a play in a bar (we’ve seen plays in Mighty Mighty, SFBH and the Southern Cross, among others). And it would be really, really nice if they gave just a teeny bit of acknowledgement to the people who have already done the same thing so very very well.

The Masked Barfly

The Masked Barfly spreads the good word about fine drinking, and the bad word about everything else.

  • stephen clover

    Perhaps “and flick the switch on your Commodore 64. Take a trip back to 1978…” refers to some sort of time machine peripheral for the C64 that I wasnt aware of?

    Although I would be wary of trying to use a C64 to travel back before 1/1/1980 00:00:00 because all sorts of hairy and incalculable situations could arise.

  • twelveplusone

    Particularly blatant is that the Did I Believe It? “Numbers”: http://didibelieveit.com/numbers.aspx
    has the exact same “largest number +1” gag as the Look Around You “Maths” show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj2NOTanzWI

    [I unwittingly ripped this knowledge off of @HORansome]

    • Wow. The big different between the two – “Look Around You” knows when to shut up and let the gag finish, while “Did I Believe It?” meanders on, as if they’ve got a minimum time to fill.

    • Tom

      Crikey! That’s just … crikey.

  • Hadyn

    Jesus on Speed! That’s awful! The fact that it looks like a billion 48hours films all trying to copy Look Around You makes it even worse.

  • twelveplusone

    @radiowammo and @vaughndavis discussed this this morning:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/RadioWammo#p/u/1/7U1AtGjN6Tw
    (at 3’46”)

  • Dan

    ** It would just be very nice if they didn’t blather on about how radical and original it is to stage a play in a bar (we’ve seen plays in Mighty Mighty, SFBH and the Southern Cross, among others). **

    And one of the Wellingtonista put a play on in The Pit Bar at BATS last year.

    • And it was a play that thematically suited the location of a bar.

      Maybe it’s only innovative if you have a vodka sponsor.

  • Silo Theatre have released a statement: http://www.silotheatre.co.nz/silo-theatre-statement.pdf

    So we’re all clear: those video sketches copying Look Around You were in no way copying Look Around You.

    • sue

      just really really really REALLY similar ?
      and did nobody think wow this is really really really REALLY similar ?

Previous post:

Next post: