Lesley's Lunch Hour

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett


Individually, Ruth Bratt and Kirsten O'Brien are both appealing newish acts, in two very different, ways, but in this patchy collaboration their talents are smothered by ropey ideas and ill-judged sketches.

Peeks at their talents still shine through now and again: Bratt puts on a twinkly-eyed innocence that barely hides a demented mind, while children's TV star O'Brien is an engaging, natural presence ­ a quality that gets lost under silly wigs and clunkily exaggerated characters.

When they interact as themselves, even scripted versions of themselves, they are far more entertaining that when bound to a sketch idea that's only mediocre. Sadly, though, these moments are mostly restricted to offstage banter designed to cover scene changes.

There are a couple of good sketches ­ the suicidal clown and inanely grinning sidekick is a nice take on the cliche, and the yoghurt-eating finale is both gross and hilarious. But they're outnumbered by weak ideas about useless mediums, Christian aerobics instructors and imaging Beyonce Knowles as a Welsh chav.

They're lightweight, one-gag sketches that far outstay their welcome, and it's only Bratt and O'Brien's innate charm that makes the show work at all.

Perhaps they'd be best advised to develop a more traditional double act dynamic, based on heightened versions of their own personalities, rather than being saddled with too many formal sketches that just doesn't seem to be their forte.

Steve Bennett


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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