Thunderbirds FAB

Previewed 23 November 2000, Opened 29 November 2000, Closed 23 February 2001 at the Playhouse Theatre
Returned Previewed 11 December 2001, Opened 13 December 2001, Closed 6 January 2002 at the Aldwych Theatre in London

The return of Thunderbirds FAB to London for a strictly limited four week holiday season

5 4 3 2 1 - Thunderbirds are GO! Time is invaluable - the penalty for delay could be disaster! Cheer as Captain Scarlet fights the evil Captain Black and the Mysterons while Brains, Scott and Virgil join forces with Lady Penelope and Parker to save the world - again. Original creators Andrew Dawson and Gavin Robertson blast back into the West End with the show that has earned them a huge cult following and worldwide acclaim.

Having played a total of around 10 months at the Apollo and Ambassadors Theatres in London's West End during the late 1980s and early 1990s Thunderbirds FAB returns to London. Adapted and inspired by Andrew Dawson and Gavin Robertson from the works of Gerry Anderson. Designed by Graham Johnston with costumes by Lizzy Crewe, lighting by Jon Linstrum and music by Barry Gray. Also includes Space Panorama devised by Andrew Dawson and Gavin Robertson about the Apollo space landing.

"The performers cleverly evoke the original television seriesí would-be cinematic style, gently mocking its melodramatic cutaways and Barry Grayís original, signposting music (urgent strings for menace, blasts of brass for mounting danger). But is the acting wooden enough? That's the question, not usually asked of a West End show, as the main joke is how well the actors can recreate the fondly remembered grape-treading walks, lolling heads and glazed expressions of the puppets. The performers do not disappoint... To get us in the space-race mood of the Sixties in which Thunderbirds was born, and to bulk out the two-hour show, we are initially given a 25-minute tabletop re-enactment of the first manned moon landing, narrated by Robertson and performed by Dawson with only his hands and upper torso. It sums up the strengths and weaknesses of the evening as a whole: entertaining moments of dexterity and humour but thin material stretched to the limit... It's insubstantial fun, but children currently nagging their parents for a Tracy Island model will probably be bemused while only cheery 'Fanderson' obsessives will find these rocket-fuelled, retro kitsch antics a total blast." The Times

"The fun of the stage production of Thunderbirds F.A.B. is that two men mime all the roles that were once part of the TV series... On press night whole rows of people in the audience wore Thunderbirds hats, and a few of them leapt rapturously to their feet at the end. There were numerous moments - incomprehensible to this insufficiently educated viewer - that won roars of laughter, claps, and cheers... When you don't know what you're meant to be seeing, you attend instead to what you actually are watching. Andrew Dawson has exceptionally articulate hands, and a fondness for showing them off with various exaggeration of dynamics... A few mime artists - like a few impersonators - can entertain you wonderfully even when you know next to nothing of their subject-matter. Dawson is not one of these. Gavin Robertson, however, is halfway there. He draws no attention to his technique (which is considerable) and everything to the illusion he is creating." The Financial Times

"Yes, they're back; with Thunderbirds 1 and 2 mounted on their heads, Andrew Dawson and Gavin Robertson return to the West End with Thunderbirds FAB. Googly-eyed and wellyboot-clad, they bring fleshy life to Gerry Anderson's 1960s supermarionated adventure series, in a mime two-hander that first sprang to life as a Scottish fringe tour ten years ago... Nostalgic as this all may seem, you don't have to have been bought up on Sixties television to appreciate any of it - the references are accessible enough to have children laughing as Captain Scarlet gets his strings shot off and lollops around like a flaccid rag-doll. But as the sounds of Aqua Maria filter through the audience and we are taken to the Mysteron underworld on the seabed it's clear that this is mission accomplished in scoring the alternative adult panto hit of the season." The Independent

Thunderbirds in London at the Playhouse Theatre previewed from 23 November 2000, opened on 29 November 2000 and closed on 23 February 2001, returned to London at the Aldwych Theatre previewed from 11 December 2001, opened on 13 December 2001 and closed on 6 January 2002.