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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Bob & Jim: Go
Bob and Jim return with an even hotter and tastier show than last year's hit, Modern Urges. Featuring charmingly cheeky audience interactions, electric uke pop covers, a séance, and the odd bit of mime. Watch out for interruptions from evil nemeses, Barry and Martin, and a special appearance from legendary producers Dan Kapacinski and Tom Selby-Gummeridge, the men behind cockney neo-vaudeville phenomenon, Bob and Jim.
Bob & Jim: Fringe 2012
With their affected mild-mannered Thirties Cockney accents – all ‘blimey!’ and ‘crumbs!’ – Bob & Jim evoke a more innocent variety-hall era of entertainment.
They engage in crosstalk banter, crack out the ukulele (even updating a George Formby classic) and contrive silly shenanigans such as their séance. It’s all rather sweet, Morecambe-and-Wise style stuff, and their devotion to the cheesy pun or self-described ‘whimsical double entendre’ is effortlessly endearing.
There’s a panto-style element to their feud with the evil Barry and Martin, who definitely don’t look anything like them, with boos and hisses greeting the nemeses; but there seems to be a palpable disappointment from the duo that this crowd aren’t throwing themselves into the spirit of this as wholeheartedly as they could.
Still, it’ll take a bit more than audience reticence to throw these old pros off their game. They have a good sense of pace and performance, with inventive twists on mime and effective crowd work. Their gags can be as quotable as they are cheesy, but sold with such a captivating ‘please like them’ demeanour, they almost always tickle.
Yet the naive pair can’t convert their amusing tomfoolery into a more substantial show. The set-pieces seem isolated, and sometimes a bit too forced, so they don’t build up a head of steam over a nonetheless enjoyable hour.
Given the style of the act, their attempt at post-modernism, where the duo appear as themselves, Dan Kapacinski and Tom Selby-Gummeridge to explain the genesis of their creation as if it were a DVD extra, doesn’t really work. We want to remain in their fake world – which would ideally be in black and white – and somehow be taken on a silly journey within it, like Pappy’s or Peacock and Gamble may do. Nonetheless, there is enough commitment and enough neat touches here to make for a enjoyable hour of old-fashioned fun.
|Date of live review: Thursday 23rd Aug, '12|
Review by Steve Bennett
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