Hill & Weedon

Hill & Weedon

Hill & Weedon: Fan Mail

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Steve Bennett

Robin Hill and Theo Weedon won this year’s Musical Comedy Awards; although they could probably have won any similar competition in the past 50 years. They are not a duo who are doing much to advance their genre, although their wholehearted embrace of its cheesier elements engenders a cheery, fun spirit.

Their songs tend to be underwritten, taking one idea and stretching it; rather than trying to cram in the gags, and the basis for some of the lyrics is decidedly flimsy. Yet in their banter they prove they can write gags in an old-fashioned style – including a stonking ‘I like my women like I like my....’ line. Their main device is alleged fan mail, written on scraps of paper drawn from a flimsy Sainsbury’s carrier bag, containing brief, witty wordplay that’s not always evident in their musical numbers.

There’s some decent chemistry between them, even if the interactions err towards the stagey and theatrical. Hill – the one without the guitar who plays the dumber of the two –  has a bendy physicality, so even though a dinosaur impression is a comedy staple nowadays (from Hugh Dennis and beyond); his prowling the audience generates a silly frisson.

It’s a lazy comparison to link a musical duo to Flight Of The Conchords... but not as lazy as being so strongly influenced by the Kiwi folk-rockers. With whimsy-led songs such as Centaur Lady, Hill & Weedon’s roots are showing, while the gag about Gary The Racist Owl is clearly close to FOTC’s Albee – but neither have the conviction or the intricacy of the originals, enjoyable as they are.

Other tracks are more original, such as their version of a rap battle in which they compete to evoke the saddest image they can. There’s a lively, ebullient atmosphere to this brisk 40-minute show, and the pair have a showbizzy likability they could build on, especially if they were to skip some of the more obvious gags in their repertoire.

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Published: 19 May 2013


Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2012

Hill & Weedon

Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Hill and Weedon Fan Club


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