Alex, Lawry and Richard's Friendly Inn Of Comedy

Note: This review is from 2002

Review by Steve Bennett

This likeable and diverse trio have produced a bitty, segmented show, providing a real pick-and mix selection of rag-bag comedy.

The opening Charlie's Angels spoof is a nice way of establishing the format and explaining the roles of each of the performers, even if they do have a little difficulty in reacting to the taped voice of 'Charlie'.

Lively Alex Zane comperes proceedings and, though light on substance, is big on charm, eliciting a reasonable share of laughs from his audience backchat. And his easy manner certainly ensures the show lives up to the 'friendly' part of its billing.

Lawry Lewin appears as a number of comic characters. He has a natural comedy face, and the creations are all well-realised, if frequently let down by weak material.

His cheesy, sleazy variety entertainer is easily the highlight of the show, pulling streams of handkerchiefs from various orifices to a tacky circus soundtrack. He rattles out a fast-paced string of puns, some truly appalling, but the character gives them all the oomph they need to hit home.

The Milk Tray Man, who similarly relies on strained wordplay, mostly revolving around confectionery products, is less successful as the leaden puns do not sit so easily with his suave personality.

And misfit loner Derek Weatherby, a nervy, socially inept ghost-hunter, is instantly funny just from the way he looks - but again, this is diminished as the skit progresses, as the material kicks in.

The third member of the trio - whose varied styles prove complementary - is Richard Morris, a deadpan punster.

But his gags are poor - below the standard of your average tabloid headline - and the set-ups contrived. But the jokes not quite bad enough nor laboured enough to be considered groanworthy, and there's not enough panache in the delivery to help him get away with things.

Between them, this threesome have their moments, but not enough to really satisfy.

Review date: 1 Jan 2002
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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