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Parsons and Naylor's Spin

Note: This review is from 2001

Review by Steve Bennett

Although a little formulaic, this topical show is actually surprisingly funny.

As the satire it wants to be, it never really sinks its teeth into its targets ferociously enough to hurt.

Instead it focuses on peripheral issues, and relentlessly ridicules them with a playful cheekiness rather than savage bile.

But it does so remarkably well, thanks entirely to the commandeering presence of the eponymous Parsons and Naylor.

They bring a perfect fusion of playfulness, conviction and likeability to their job of teasing the ridiculous in politics, sport and media.

Yes, this is done with the usual sketches and gags, but P&N have a distinctive trick up their sleeve. It's a device they use several times in the course of the show, and it's testament to their performance skills that they can get away with it, each repetition being as good as the last.

What they do is recreate familiar scenes - the political rally, the East End crime film, the Paxmanesque interview - and in place of real dialogue, simply describe explicitly what they are doing, but with the emotion, intonation and actions of the part. And remarkably effective it proves, too.

This is not going to bring down the government, but the observations are so spot-on, and the material so well-performed, that it will make you laugh loud and often. And you can't ask for much more than that.

Review date: 1 Jan 2001
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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