Godliman and Lane

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett


Kerry Godliman and David Lane are both talented comedy actors, and this, their debut Edinburgh offering, would make a perfect audition showcase, were they seeking work on a sketch show. But it might be best if someone else wrote it.

Their abilities are pretty much squandered here, on a lacklustre script covering generic topics in a superficial way.

They parody advertorials, game shows and lifestyle programmes; mock meaningless management jargon, then meaningless marketing jargon, go on a Blind Date who turns out not to be the sophisticated culture vulture his internet advertisement suggested, and laugh at posh people struggling to come to terms with such working-class concepts as darts, transport caffs and swearing. All quite predictable stuff.

Between the scenes, audio adverts sing the praises as such everyday objects as roofs, mirrors or even breathing, which would have been brilliant had Viz not spent the past two decades doing the very same joke. But these segments do highlight how well suited Godliman would be to radio ads, with a voice that's down-to-earth, friendly, clear and authoritative ­ a casting agent's dream.

They both deserve to find more work off the back of this. Amid a slew of well-educated sketch performers sounding too much like actors, Godliman's characters always have the seal of authenticity. Lane, meanwhile, is effortlessly versatile, going from a yob to a monied designer-clad lady who lunches in the blink of a blackout.

Between them, they have made a show that's slick, credible ­ but just not very interesting. And why does every sketch show these days have recurring characters? Harry Enfield's got a lot to answer for.

There are some glints of good ideas, and even one or two excellent ones. When we discover that the tortured artist on the verge of breakdown as he despondently seeks the muse that will inspire his next great work is actually a producer of blandly generic TV lifestyle programming, it's a marvellous reveal. But did we really need to see the show he created, and then an awards speech for it too?

And the 100 Greatest Godliman and Lane Moments on which they end is one of their better parodies ­ and a very well put-together video package it is too. But unless they find new writers to work with, it's something we'll never see on TV.

Steve Bennett


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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