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The Moonfish Rhumba Show - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

There is a touch of Flight Of The Conchords to be found in some of the low-key, folksy songs in Dan Lees and Guy Combes’s repertoire. But beyond that stylistic similarity, Moonfish Rhumba come off very badly in any comparison.

There are things in their favour, not least of which is their distinctive look. Lees resembles a mid-level supervisor in an actuarial firm, while Combes could be a Seventies detective by day, lounge lizard by night. Also on the credit side: they can pogo like manaics, have an engaging dynamic and manage to maintain their dignity whatever ridiculous things they might be indulging in.

However, none of this make up for the surprisingly unambitious writing that favours the crude every time. One of their numbers is no more inspired than listing a number of unimaginative euphemisms for masturbation, while mentions of STIs abound across the entire show. The bar is set very low.

And that’s even before Combes gets his kit off, stripping down to his G-string before adopting the costume of a pantomime pirate to portray a disillusioned dinner lady. It’s a moment where they look set to properly embrace the absurd, but before too long they revert to type.

They seem to not quite know what they are aiming for, mixing puerile knob gags with flashes of surrealism, and missing on both levels. They have a strong visual identity, but a weak comedic one.

Also, although I was in no great desire to see more, this show ran very short, as appears to be an increasingly common trend this Fringe. For you £9.50, you get just 45 minutes, not the advertised 60.

Review date: 24 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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