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Andrew McClelland & Lawrence Leung's Somewhat
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Anthology - Free!
Ants With Feelings
Appelby's Journey To The 21st Century
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Audience With Josie Long And Dan Nightingale
Ava Vidal: Misfit
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2005
Ants With Feelings
Hailing from Ireland, England and Canada, this comedy quarto presents 4 stand-ups, 3 sketches, 2 songs, and zero predictability! A wide array of comedic styles is featured, from dead-pan musings to high voltage improvisation.
This is another stand-up showcases for comics right at the very start of their career; four open-mic acts who want to come to Edinburgh and perform alongside the art form’s greatest exponents.
They do, naturally, suffer by comparison, falling victim of their own inexperience. For the £8.50, you could go and see a ‘real’ show offering solid entertainment. All you can expect from a line-up like this is a glimmer of potential.
Rob Broderick comperes – a tough task when there’s an audience of six; a third of whom are related to one of the acts. He seems upbeat enough, though his banter never leads to any crocks of comedy gold.
Vibrant Irishwoman Peggie-Anne Savage is billed as a singer and dancer, and she exudes the smiley confidence of a presenter of bland-but-upbeat kids’ TV. There’s a lot of charm, but little by way of strong material, which is based on the size of her family. She can’t half sing though, as proved by her belting finale.
Canadian Judy Batalion also seems at home behind the microphone, but again is let down by her writing which is a ragtag collection of ordinary observations and barely workable puns. She aims at cynical, but can’t quite pull it off.
Leonard Hughes is the act who brings most to the party. Very heavily tattooed with straggly blond hair, he defies expectations by talking about his gay lifestyle. What is interesting is that he talks about his boyfriend in the matter-of-fact way most hetero comics mention their other half.
By avoiding both the usual patterns of sexless, family-friendly camp or depraved gay slut, Hughes could be onto something to call his own – although, like his colleagues, there’s still work to be done on the actual material.
In between the acts the trio all take to the stage for an exercise when they pass the baton of a subject between them, each contributing jokes. It sounds like an improv game, although it soon becomes apparent it’s pre-planned. In which case, you might have expected some decent gags rather than watery-weak observations.
Ants With Feelings isn’t a show you’d recommend to anyone, although it might provide some ‘I saw them first’ brags in later years – most probably when Savage ends up on TV with a puppet sidekick.
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