We Are Klang

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Whenever you see two emerging circuit stand-ups join up for an Edinburgh show, alarm bells start ringing: is it just that neither is good enough on their own to sustain an hour?

But Greg Davies and Marek Larwood are two of the more promising comics at their level, and together they have created an imaginative and quirky sketch show, rather than simply wheeling out their stand-up sets.

Mention also must be made of Steve Hall, relegated to a supporting role in the publicity, but very much an integral part of the fun.

The show cherry-picks its influences from The League Against Tedium, Corky And The Juice Pigs and, inevitably, Monty Python. But while there are few better inspirations, it's the way these disparate styles have been blended that makes We Are Klang so entertaining.

Paving the way is a splendid opening sketch featuring Davies as the confident, showman mentalist Darren Chilblain and Larwood as his awkward, naïve stooge, establishing a double-act relationship that recurs throughout the hour and demonstrating their contrasting fortes.

Davies tends to use his imposing presence to represent authority figures, while Larwood's the idiot savant ­ or sometimes just plain idiot ­ who can turn on the manic energy or doe-eyed pathos depending on the mood.

Their highpoints come in song. The stompalong exploration of the Jewish faith makes up in stupid, manic energy what it might lack in theological accuracy, while the wonderfully derisive showstopper turns the whole audience against council estate dwellers so effectively you wonder if a fascist movement is about to start. There's so much spunky spirit in their performances you feel compelled to join in.

The tone is usually on the silly, or the punny. And when sketches move too far from this they tend to fail. An extended Arthur Miller parody, especially, is too sluggish to work on any level. But for every dud, there's two treats, such as the competitive beggars or the racist, homophobic pensioners.

Davies, Larwood and Hall are all assured of success on the stand-up scene, but with this assured sketch show debut, they've added another more-than promising string to their bows, too.

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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