Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

The Trap are at their best playing with the structure and conventions of live comedy, and their 2004 show is no exception.

It opens with us watching another audience on the screen, in what purports to be a live feed from another show they are performing in parallel with ours. In truth, it's basically a neat device to get performers on and off stage, and even the very screen itself proves helpful to that end.

Such inventive jiggery-pokery emerges time and again over the hour, one particular favourite being the review of their show that changes before their eyes.

But there's more to comedy than trickery, and this engaging trio provide plenty of good-humoured laughs to match their ingenuity. It's apt that the trio bought The Goodies' famed trandem bike, as they are clearly pretenders to that crown of silliness, with their surreally anarchic interludes and an overriding spirit of fun.

On the downside, they share something of the hit-and-miss traditions of their Seventies forebears, too, with a couple of their more traditional sketches failing to excite.

The parody When Drivers Go Bad is so formulaic that there are more laughs in the real thing, while the extended mime about a conductor improvising various objects to use as batons doesn't deliver the wit it initially promised.

But all three are impressive, natural performers always jollying proceedings along. Their banter is full of playful teasing and their dialogue fresh and genuine ­ except when it's not supposed to, of course, the kooky Comedy Vicar being just one case in point.

Yet for everything in their favour, The Trap never quite seem to soar to their full potential, diluting the genius with some very workaday stuff. The same is true this year, but the peaks are brilliant indeed, and surely worth a mid-afternoon punt.

Review date: 1 Jan 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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