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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Checkley and Bush's Comedy Riot!
Sketch duo Checkley and Bush are back funnier and bolder than ever with a brand new show. With dark witty sketches, snappy banter and kick arse song parodies their fast pace and charm will leave you feeling like you've had one of the best nights out of your life. Only to find you've woken up in between Frankie Cocozza and Denise Welch. So wrong, but oh so right!
Checkley and Bush: Fringe 2012
This show started with a musical parody of I Predict A Riot, and ended with a musical parody of Rihanna's S&M involving a well known high street supermarket. It sounds pretty family friendly until you hear the brutal lyrics.
The songs were fantastic, complete with vocal harmonies, with the exception of Moves Like Jagger, which felt like a Saga karaoke night. However, all was forgiven when they busted out the prop whips for S&M.
Audience participation sketches were well done, with two wildly-differing members being chosen to act out a scripted domestic argument arbitrated by a Cockney marriage counsellor being a particular highlight. Checkley is from the pace-through-the-audience-like-a-prison-guard school of audience selection, which is a step up from point and shout from the stage.
A couple of the solo characters lacked punch, with a sketch mocking police community support offers spectacularly missing the mark. The PCSO, played by Bush, looked and sounded like Dawn French after a severe bout of post traumatic stress disorder.
Checkley's Cockney character verges on genius, a frankly dazzling display of linguistic dexterity. Scathing fast-paced monologues dressed as 'scene setting' invoking myriad comedic phrases resulted in undiluted hilarity. One poor audience member had to be replaced on stage due to fits of uncontrollable laughter.
More risk taking would have been appreciated, an initially substandard sketch about a mute and a toff almost took a bleak turn to the misery of muteness but lost confidence and resorted to playing the scenario for cheap gags. It was still funny, but a more poignant angle could have been transcendental.
As with all sketch shows there were highs and lows, and the occasional comedy mismatch. Both performers are gifted slapsticians which was played for all its worth during the songs but was less successful elsewhere.
The weakest moment was a lazy sketch playing on American culture and children's pageants; it was less sharp satire and more blunt instrument which felt out of place given the cutting wordplay and caustic characterisation displayed elsewhere.
But, overall a great show.
|Date of live review: Wednesday 8th Aug, '12|
Review by Alex Mason
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