Bobby Ball and Brendan ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ O’Carroll cast their star-wattage over a tale of four slack-arsed shopping-centre security bumblers who, after getting caught napping on the job, decide to rewind the CCTV tapes and recreate a daring jewel theft to make themselves look like have-a-go heroes. If the plot is rickety, the dialogue should rightly be condemned. The rootsy, conversationalist northern humour that made Aherne’s ‘The Royle Family’ so bizarrely sublime has entirely deserted her here. In its place are a barrage of unwarranted F-bombs and endless, charmless references to the range and variety of Ball’s wife’s vaginal piercings.
The odd moment of seemingly unintentional Lynch-ian weirdness occasionally snags your attention – such as the foursome watching an Amir Khan fight on the TV while the soundtrack swells to the strains of ‘Strangers in the Night’ and Ball moonwalks across the floor of Dixons – but otherwise, it’s a lazy, messy hour of Chuckle Brother pratfalling and needless swears.
Opera-themed restaurant TWID is a picture of old-school opulence. Everywhere you look there are velvet swags and gilt flourishes. Squint and you can imagine it’s the ’80s and that’s Andrew Lloyd Webber in the next booth, taking his latest leading lady for a slap-up dinner. But TWID's nightly opera performances are more than enough to blow any lame retro cobwebs away. The night I visited, a seriously talented soprano was making the restaurant ring to the sounds of everything from to Rossini to jazz standards – even the odd Disney song. Like its star performer, TWID works best when it blends old and new. Generous ‘small plates’ of cod and roasted duck had a French-accented allure that was heightened by their delicately flavoured accompaniments of Jerusalem artichoke and pickled cauliflower. And the hefty plateful of plump, tender scallops was worth starting a fork-fight over, especially with the unlikely but delicious addition of fresh raspberries. TWID's modish collection of vegan and raw food dishes felt a little less assured. The kimchi was the star of the show, resplendent in two dainty, cabbage-wrapped towers, and bursting with zesty flavour. By comparison, the slightly soggy stuffed mushroom had all the charisma of a diva caught in a rainstorm. And although tarty daubs of raspberry sauce made the raw chocolate cake look just as naughty as the divine salted caramel torte, its wholesome taste was a little frumpy. Still, it feels ungenerous to carp on about the occasional