Richard Sandling & Stuart Goldsmith in Kiosk of Champions

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

The pairing of the experienced stand-up Stuart Goldsmith and the newcomer Richard Sandling provides plenty of fodder for banter between their sketches.

High-status Goldsmith continually refers to himself as the pro, with low-status Sandling as the bumbling novice. But despite its promise, the dynamic fails to work. The problem is that Goldsmith on his own, though very confident on stage, doesn’t appear to have sufficient funnies to back this up.

His frequent comments of how he is a professional – supporting Mark Watson on tour, providing the warm up for Loose Women and his years of experience as a street performer – smack of a man trying to reassure the audience, and himself, of his comedy credentials. Meanwhile, the put-upon Sandling , who won last year’s So You Think You’re Funny? competition, is criticised for his lack of acting experience , yet he has the warmer personality of the pair.

Because Goldsmith comes across as so unlikeably cocky, his comic bullying appears too unpleasant and uncomfortable.

This peculiar chemistry detracts greatly from their sketches of which many are well written. Appearing without props or the benefit of any semblance of a lighting rig, the pair act out their sketches with just the use of speech, mime and a self-effacing ‘ta dah’ movement to signal the end of each one.

The skits themselves are intelligently thought-out, some are wordy and complex others sparsely simple like the moon sketch.

But sadly the overbearing feeling rears again for one last time at the close of the show. Pretty much every show on the free fringe ends with a polite plea to put some money in the bucket to help with the costs. Kiosk’s is prolonged and feels intimidating, ending the show on a distinct feeling of discomfort.

Reviewed by: Marissa Burgess

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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