The Lost And Lonely Rebels

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

As if you couldn’t tell from the twee introductory music, which evokes such early radio comedies as Much-Binding-In-The-Marsh, The Lost And Lonely Rebels are presenting a very old fashioned form of sketch show.

Three well-presented young men present clearly scripted, contrived situations featuring one-dimensional characters and the sort of dialogue you never hear outside of other sketch shows. It’s very Two Ronnies, and never more so that when a Dick Barton style radio play is acted out, the sound effects out of synch with the action.

There are a couple of clumsily-executed duds, including the opener, in which a priest talking down a suicidal man himself turns suicidal without any degree of conviction.

But most sketches are notably better than this, including the good cop-bad cop routine inflicted on a toddler and a petty pub dispute about the relative merits of Kool And The Gang versus Earth, Wind And Fire in a fight situation. Both of which work in the detail more than in the big idea.

Traditional sketch shows always have to feature a shopkeeper routine, and this is no exception. Only here our retailer is a wonderfully sinister figure, brilliantly treating a pick n mix selection as if it were a Tarot card reading.

Miles Jupp is probably the reason most people come to this, either because they know his stand-up or their children watch him on Balamory. His roles here are fairly limited, not straying too far from the landed officer-class type which he is stuck with.

His colleagues, Humphrey Ker and Stuart Murphy (not the BBC3 boss of the same name), have more to do, even, gasp, requiring different accents. No role is exactly demanding, but they bring the required confidence to jolly things along.

No new ground has really been broken, and if they are aiming towards a Radio 4 sketch show, there’s not enough to make it distinctive. But it’s a decent enough hour in itself.

Review date: 1 Jan 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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