We Are Klang: Klangbang

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

We Are Klang are back with another cavalcade of unmitigated crap. And it's absolutely marvellous.

Those seeking barbed political satire or incisive social comment should look away now ­ these three offer non-stop boisterous fun delivered with such gloriously effervescent excess that it's impossible to resist. Nowhere on the Fringe will you hear a room ringing with such volume of uncontrollable, guttural laughter as when the Klang gang are in full flow. And they are always in full flow.

They are, simply, the best idiots in Britain, gleefully demeaning themselves with a parade of cartoon grotesques, flagrantly non-PC but done with such conviction, flair and energy it's impossible to take offence ­ even when they show more flesh than i strictly necessary.

Some old favourites are here: mental mentalist Darren Chill-Blaine and Theatre Du Bastard, whose director-cum-narrator Derek Upon-Tweed orders his players to do his every depraved bidding. But mostly the ideas are as new as they are warped: the Legal Eagle dispensing justice, a coke-crazed Su Pollard, and the world championship insult finals

It's hard to get a feel for the show from a list of characters, but imagine the most outrageous creations you can, and they won't be one tenth as twisted or inspired as the lot Greg Davies, Marek Larwood and Steve Hall have conjured up. Then you add an unstoppable devotion to gags, with barely a second going by without some hilariously inappropriate comment or stupid visual joke. They are so expressive just one look can constitute a joke.

There's more fun to be had when stark, sober reality dawns on all this insanity. Several sketches come crashing to a halt as the ridiculousness of what they are doing dawns on them. Right from the get-go, ringmaster Davies berates his two charges for going too far, their sheepish glances an admission of guilt caught out. You can tell he used to be a teacher, and generally he's the alpha male of the three. Steve is the more intellectual one, plotting to get attention and look cool, while Marek is the weird, hyperactive, attention-deficient showoff. Though, really, they all are.

They stick to the script more rigorously this year but not slavishly ­ and the all-too-short hour is none the worse for that. They also know all the contrivances of the sketch show format and wilfully expose them all with their compulsive need to subvert.

Variety is said to be on the way back. And when it does, Klang will be ready to dominate it with this sort of powerhouse show that seems so wrong, but feels oh-so good.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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