Idiots Of Ants

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Newcomers Idiots Of Ants have already attracted much acclaim, but their sketches just aren’t consistently funny enough, nor carry a distinctive enough personality, to make them anything like a guaranteed tip for the top.

As a group they certainly have style and class – but that’s not the same as having character behind the superficial gloss. So while they do what they do well, it follows a bit too closely to countless earlier elegant middle-class, all-white-male troupes for comfort. The Consultants and Dutch Elm Conservertoire, to name but two of the more successful ones.

Their show is expertly directed and designed, and as performers these four young men have skill and presence. There are some splendid, memorable skits, but they milk their good ideas too much. The concept of giving lyrics to TV theme tunes not only recurs four times in a reprised sketch, but also lies at the core of an entirely separate scene about breaking bad news.

Scripts based around having Jesus as a flatmate, taking the WH Auden elegy Stop All The Clocks… literally and performing practical jokes deadpan also outstay their welcome. Although thankfully, they don’t reappear later, bucking the most frustrating trend in modern sketch comedy.

However, when they succeed, the results are impressive. The girlfriend with the permanent grimace on her face is a silly delight, but most memorable are their round-table discussions parodying every stereotype about men and women, which has a couple of truly wonderful lines in it.

Idiots Of Ants have certainly got talent; enough to sustain 20, maybe 30, minutes of strong comedy, but not the hour. This debut asserts themselves as a group to look out for, but it’ll be next year’s show that will ultimately decide whether they can really cut it or not.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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