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For one week only, a brand new type of show. A heady mix of jokes, chat, competition, argument and making value judgements about complete strangers.
GIT: Edinburgh 2010
Jon Richardson, Dan Atkinson and Lloyd Langford take great pains to explain this show is an idea in progress, bandying around words like ‘experimental’, ‘shambolic’ and ‘rough around the edges’ before they even start.
I can’t really top those descriptions, for although the key idea is a good one, and the accomplished trio are quick enough to provide some decent laughs, there are way too many embarrassed lulls that bring them so close to dying you expect Gazza to show up with a fishing rod and a can of lager.
The idea is that each comic takes it in turns to present games based on strangers’ profiles posted on social networking websites. The other two have no idea what their colleague has prepared, providing the spark for improvised banter.
Sections include a missing words round, similar to Have I Got News For You but based on status updates rather than newspaper headliners, as well as more ad hoc games, like Langford’s What’s The Frequency Of Kenneths, where Richardson and Atkinson have to guess which of the internet users are named Kenneth, and which aren’t, based only on their photographs.
There is actually a decent strike rate of decent gags, such as Langford’s inspired comparison of MySpace with Mad Max, and quick-witted ad libs between a trio who are clearly on each other’s wavelength. And the idea that last night’s loser must suffer a forfeit in this show (Richardson performed in a stiflingly hot penguin outfit today) is a nice one.
But the whole energy of the enterprise is too sluggish. It takes forever to get going, while a bit of Brucie-style showmanship to get the audience more involved in the ridiculous games would be more-than welcome, rather than reducing us to largely passive observers of their indulgence.
Creativity needs talented people to dick about, and there’s lots of potential in this idea. But their main mistake was in charging £8.50 to watch them. If ever there was a show that was perfect for one of the free venues, where established comics can workshop without the demands of satisfying a paying audience, it was surely this one.
|Date of live review: Monday 30th Aug, '10|
Review by Steve Bennett
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