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The Cock and Bulls


Venue:The Free Sisters, 139 Cowgate Edinburgh EH1 1JS
Phone: 0131 622 6802
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: The Gothic Room
AUG 21-25 at 23:15 (60 min)
Show Image

“That’s Barry. His crime? He had the world’s largest illegal monkey collection. He only had one monkey, but it was very big.”

When Ian ‘accidently’ kills two of his co-workers he embarks on a journey of madness and even more deaths. With the help of colourful characters, two rather handsome actors and some questionably made puppets, Ian must confront a secret and violent criminal underworld that he never could have imagined…

“They’re not bad people. Everyone does a murder or two when they’re not thinking straight. That’s why they come here.”

Finding himself in a secret community for criminals who really, really (honestly, we swear) regret their wrongdoings and want to start a new life, Ian has to come to terms with his new neighbours and whatever strange and scary crimes they have committed. Among them Steve (murdering bin men), Ambrose (stole a Marathon bar back in the 70s), the delightful Mr & Mrs Gravy (organ harvesting) and the ever mysterious ‘Balloon Man.’ But as Ian slowly discovers the dark secrets that lie beneath this seemingly idyllic haven, it is up to him to do what must be done…

“If I’ve learned one thing in this short life, it’s that milk is our friend. Never forget that, Jim. Please.”

With a fresh, idiosyncratic mix of childlike puppetry, extreme violence and diabolically brilliant plotting (even if that is just us saying that, which it is) ‘Death and the Data Processor’ is set to both disturb and charm audiences.

‘Like Roald Dahl meets Brett Easton-Ellis.’ – What we would love this show to be described as.

News and Reviews for this Show

August 22, 2016  Broadway Baby
Review for Death and the Data Processor
The Cock and Bull’s Death And The Data Processor follows the adventures of office worker Ian, whose murders of two co-workers lead him into the strange world of Harton, a community where criminals regret their crimes and want to start anew. With an array of puppets and a script channelling both IT Crowd and The Prisoner,this production of Death And The Data Processor is a surreal and fun late night comedy.

With just two actors and two chairs on stage, everything is performed in this madcap, frantic style
The performance begins with Ian and his boss, played by a sock puppet, in their office. Later Ian meets his co-workers, played by opposite sides of a ball on a stick. Ian goes on to act alongside several puppets (and occasionally a character in a mask).

With just two actors and two chairs on stage, everything is performed in this madcap, frantic style. The actors do a great job of distinguishing between characters, the quick-fire script itself creatively written and Ian having a wonderfully bemused and dumbfounded expression throughout. As the story continues with Ian murdering his co-workers and entering the Harton commune (think The Prisoner meets The Wicker Man meets Hot Fuzz-esque weirdness) the plot gets stranger, with even more characters being introduced and the conspiracy surrounding the mysterious “Uncle” beginning. It should be said that there’s something both remarkably funny and disturbing about watching someone “murdering” puppets on stage in surprisingly visceral ways. The actors do a great job of comedically establishing a sense of place, and the puppets are imaginatively designed and performed.

While the first two acts are fun and silly, the third act does drag a little as the nuisance of a plot has to enter the otherwise anarchic nature of the script, with exposition taking the place of comedy. Not every joke hits home but nothing ever feels awkward because the action moves from one thing to the next without pause. The play makes it clear right from the beginning that this is not a performance that treats itself seriously, with plenty of meta-jokes poking fun at its own small budget and production values. Nonetheless, the performances are fun, and the story is suitably absurd for a free late night show in a bar. A fun effort from a crime puppet comedy drama. Click Here

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