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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Clarkson & Crouch: Away with the Fairies
Using the gift of sketches Rob Crouch & Jonathan Clarkson present the supernatural side of city life.
They tackle head-on the problems that no one else will. The 21st century is turned on its head as they reveal the magic amidst the mundane in a sideways look at the world.
Marvel as the pair transform between sexes, animals and creatures of the night without so much as a blackout, revealing the surreal secrets from the murky metropolitan world.
This breathtaking exposé will address the oft neglected crisis which is the sudden rise in pirate-related crime and the devastating effects it can have on family life, the small businesses forced to turn to magic to combat shoplifting, and whether the devil really can get you a girlfriend or offer an affordable finance plan for your family in return for your soul. Daft, dark and surreal, this is modern life but not quite as you know it.
Jonathan Clarkson and Rob Crouch have put together a set of sketches, some of which loosely reference each other. Physically they make a well-suited double act; Jonathan Clarkson has a delightfully scrawny, hangdog presence and Rob Crouch an ursine bulk that is alternately cuddly and menacing. You have to see it, but there’s a point where you’d think if Sweeney Todd came back as a fishmonger, this is how he’d conduct himself.
The first sketch is the weakest as they become two lugubrious de-motivational speakers, reducing expectations and fostering depression. It feels like you’ve seen it before. Once this is out of the way, the rest have more originality and feel less contrived.
As two miserable prole hags, ‘Chelle and Pearl, they put me in mind of Dot Cotton doing Pete ‘n’ Dud. No matter that the sketch revolved around complaints about bumming (yawn), there’s a plaintive passive-aggression in Pearl that’s creepily enjoyable.
A couple of sketches passed me by entirely, but that’s more to do with my lack of acquaintance with superheroes. A benefit-scrounging fox, two security guards fretting over the problem with unicorns, a phantom barman and teenage slags discussing the pros and cons of dating a centaur bring a touch of fable and mythology to South London.
It’s subtly bonkers and each sketch finishes just before you wonder if it’s gone on too long. My favourite pairings were Will and Graham, an encounter between a homeless tramp and his former colleague who’s let the side down by successfully joining the house-owning middleclass, closely followed by Percy Shelley and Lord Byron effing and blinding in a ad agency.
Controlled performances and mostly successful writing make this an enjoyable hour.
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain
Was the worst show i have ever seen. depressingly awful. Nobody laughed in the entire audience. Someone should tell them to give up and get a new vocation.