Beth Vyse as Olive Hands: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

 

“This bit is really stupid,” Beth Vyse muttered to the audience, breaking character for a moment. She suggested that it’ll all be funnier if we just went along with it. This turned out to be true, although for some audibly baffled punters it was more of an undertaking than they were expecting.

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle is very stupid. Washed-up daytime TV host Olive Hands has hit upon a winning formula for getting her ratings back; having a baby. However, when all of her celebrity guests get waylaid by Paddy McGuinness, Hands is forced to cobble together a TV show with some help from the audience. This much is easy to understand. Just about everything else that happens, not so much.

Beth Vyse is utterly fearless. It’s a show full of divine insanity, pushing the audience’s patience to breaking point. There are moments where it all falls apart, where the jokes are stretched too far. However, when it all comes together there are few things funnier than Vyse’s nonsense. The Hand That Rocks The Cradle gets a recommendation purely for Vyse’s fortitude, and also the excellent use of the Danny Elfman Batman (1989) soundtrack.

★★★★

Stuart Addison

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