Noble And Silver
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2001
Perrier Best Newcomers 2000. How do you follow up a Perrier award winning show? 'You can't' - Noble. 'It's impossible' - Silver. 'Definitely not' - Noble. Two situationists return with a brand new show.
Adjectives attached to Noble and Silver are usually those that damn with faint praise: "That was, erm interesting" or "What you're doing is really err... well it's certainly different."
But is it actually funny? Well, fitfully.
With their multimedia gimmickry and deconstructionist attitude, this incredibly inventive pair are going to be very influential. Indeed there are already plenty of poor imitations on this year's Fringe, thanks to their Perrier best newcomer success 12 months ago.
But they are going to have to make things a lot more funny if they want to hit the mainstream - and that is a really, really big 'if'.
The brilliantly executed show certainly divided the audience, who had surely never seen anything quite like this.
However, it would be lazy to suggest this is a show you'll either completely love or hate, although it can trigger both emotions. More likely you'll be impressed by the daring ambition and slightly baffled by the experience, even if your sides are unlikely to be aching.
Their main trick to wrong-foot expectations is subverting time's arrow - like Pulp Fiction, countless novels and a particularly spectacular episode of Seinfeld.
As punters shuffle in, the show appears already in progress, and fragments of sketches keep reappearing and running out of sequence.
Bizarre audience interaction, clever use of stooges and a smattering of fine visual gags on two giant screens all add to the strange, tangled show.
As close to avant garde theatre or performance art as it is to comedy, this is real talking point stuff, and well worth seeing, if only to examine your own opinions on such an off-the-wall effort.
But it's a shame that such a cutting-edge production doesn't make for sharper comedy.
Gillian Martin - 09/09/2002