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Gadabouts - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Julian Hall

It would be fair to say that The Gadabouts’ sketch show is of its time. That time being 11pm. The late night slot means the weaknesses of this show and the paucity of laughter and applause are not exposed in such a sharp contrast as would have been the case had if the show was on in the afternoon.

That’s not to say there aren’t good things here, though often they are in the form of filmed sketches rather than live work. Video snippets include Matt Rudge’s hapless driving instructor Larry Leonard, a character ripe for development, while Joe Bor’s French free runner, supposedly leaping from building to building, might also have promise if it is made a little more zany.

Too often, however, whether on stage or on screen, the duo’s sketches lack a pay-off and seem to be travelling along a straight line in terms of comedic invention. At the top of the show they joke that they are different from every other white middle-class male sketch duo on the Fringe – but the bar has been set high this year.

Premises such as a corkscrew meeting a cork he once penetrated without some clever wordplay to embroider it don't cut much mustard in this context and neither does a no frills, formulaic skit like Infection Idol, where various lame diseases try and impress a panel with their potential for pandemic.

While none of the sketches are inherently bad they all want for something and as the audience leave there’s a sense that they have been adequately entertained, a midnight snack which will keep their hunger for comedy at bay, but won’t impact upon their Fringe memory.  

Review date: 24 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Julian Hall

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