Men With Bananas: We Know What You're Thinking
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
FOR SALE. Much loved double-act. Reconditioned. Professionally buffed. Slight ringwear. One loose flap, requires some attention. Features two original knobs. Sold as seen. Offers. The bananas return! Directed by Logan Murray
To criticise this pair is akin to kicking a three-legged puppy. Mark and Dave, aka Men With Bananas are thoroughly likeable fellas. When things go wrong Ė and, one suspects, when itís going right too Ė they continually deprecate themselves, which proves endearing but also highlights that this show is wholly over-ambitious.
Thereís a good chance that over 15 minutes their oddball stunts are a quirky addition to a comedy night line-up, but stretched over the full 60 minutes at 10.30pm, their ideas weaken.
It canít have helped that on the night Chortle were in they had a largely unhelpful crowd who really werenít up for participating in the action. Play Your Tarot Cards Right was largely greeted with apathy, though the revelation of the image at the back of the pack was received with an enthusiastic groan. Later on in the set one woman plucked from the crowd braved the stage, but it was with gritted teeth.
Beyond several, scripted, false starts and the pairís trademark banana routine, the show is a collection of esoteric goings-on and some faux mind reading stunts - all played with distinctly daft undertones.
Their mind reading device is made from Daveís mumís colander; a trip through Daveís past lives results in him resurrecting the memory of his dead budgie; and Markís story of a legless horseman is heckled by Dave, sat in the crowd.
There are some interesting notions here, particularly when the pair replace themselves with their bespectacled alter-egos using the screen at the back of the stage and some pre-recorded voiceovers. Plus the aforementioned horsemen story is enjoyable, but sad to say, itís not enough to save the day. Or even the evening.
Reviewed by: Marissa Burgess