Chambers & Nettleton – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Chambers and Nettleton claim to be the only female double act on the circuit, and bar a handful of sketch performers, they almost certainly are. They have forebears in the shape of French and Saunders, of course, but that’s about it.

Traditionally all double acts have relied on a variant of the same dynamic the stupid-but-doesn’t-know-it superior bullying an idiot savant sidekick. They are roles these chatty Northerners fall effortlessly into: the imposing figure of Lynne Chambers towering physically and emotionally over Sally Nettleton’s sweet-but-gormless Baldrick.

The tried and tested dynamic works well - if only they would stick to it. The girls are at home on stage, able to banter instinctively and readily between each other, but this ease means they don’t seem too tied to the personas, and they end up defaulting to being two friends just shooting the breeze.

Their material is as inconsistent as their personas, proving something of a sloppy mish-mash with not nearly enough focus on gags. One minute they are doing a cheesy song and dance number, the next they’re twittering about Muslim veils. And given what a social hot potato the issue is, you might expect more than a weak observation that you can’t see if they smile back at you.

Chambers and Nettleton are an instinctively likeable duo, both individually and when bouncing off each other, but they use their charm as a substitute for strong gags. And the fact they’ve got enough chemistry and chutzpah to get by means they don’t feel the need to focus as much as less natural performers. But they do.

Review date: 1 Apr 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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