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The Ed Weeks Variety
Ed Weeks wonders where he has gone wrong in his life and why his last year has been such unmitigated balls. Joined by Matt Green and Sophie Black, two people Ed once met, he presents sketches from his life, fantastical characters that have crossed his path, and a stirring power ballad about pubes.
Why do some straight men feel the need to flirt with gay men? What if the only girl left on earth was someone who had never returned your calls? What if foreign stand-up comedians were accompanied by a translator? Is it safe to wash this thing at forty degrees?
Character comic Ed Weeks excels in the guise of the socially awkward, middle-class man-child; the immature twentysomething more comfortable with practical jokes and pop culture than with anything as frightening unpredictable as adult human relationships.
It's a mine he exploits most effectively in the show's recurring gag, as he attempts to woo a woman who's caught his eye, first trying to trick her into a date, then embarrassing himself appallingly at their every encounter.
The caricature reaches his zenith as the inept Weeks tries eagerly but thoughtlessly to bond with the girl's gay friend by singing Elton John lyrics or camping up his innuendoes to an extent that would shame Graham Norton.
Yet the discomfort is not played out through the vogueish realism started by The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm, but with a broad comic exaggeration that proves most effective. In this persona, Weeks process a fine comic presence, with an ironic glint in his eye as he plays up the extremes of his behaviour as exposed in some fine writing.
Things are less certain, however, when he attempts to move away from this. For rather than being content to stay in the realm of the reliable character actor, he attempts to showcase his acting range in a more diverse set of situations.
Thus we get such extreme creations as the El Savalorian stand-up, the Oedipally warped headmaster or the possessed IT nerd ideas that sound good on paper, but aren't quite fleshed out enough, nor written strongly enough, to really convince as anything more than two-dimensional sketch characters, serving only one moderate joke. They are certainly well executed, but their heart seems empty.
There are skillful flourishes, though, in almost every scene. The sketch concerning the demanding Latin American diva, parent of our Spanish-speaking stand-up, for example, is made by an almost inconsequential visual gag.
Weeks is supported in his endeavours by Sophie Black, who deadpans marvellously as the object of Weeks' bumbling affections, and Matt Green, a young stand-up accurately described in the show as 'looking suspiciously like a Quentin Blake drawing' whose features are made for comedy, ideally in the role of feeble, put-upon geek that this show demands.
A lot of things about The Ed Weeks Variety say 'quality'
the acting, the assured directorial hand of Ben Willbond and
the painstaking attention to comic detail. While examining the
minutiae they may have overlooked some of the bigger picture,
ie the flaws in the characters, but overall it's an impressive
full-length debut for a man who when in his element, at
least has plenty to offer.
No comments are currently available for this show.
Cambridge Footlights: Today Of All Days
The Big Briefcase
Tommy And The Weeks
Matt Green: Grow Up Green
Tommy And The Weeks: Powershow!
Matt Green: Truth & Pleasure
Tommy & The Weeks: Wonderbang
Matt Green: Bleeding Funny
Sophie Black: A Sketch Show
Matt Green: Too Much Information
Matt Green: Alive