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King Of Everything – Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

What a sloppy, unfinished mess: forgotten lines, fluffed cues, corpsing, sketches that peter out just because they get bored performing them, and obscure in-jokes for the benefit of their comedian mates…

Sorry, I missed out an adjective: What a magnificently sloppy, unfinished mess. Michael Legge and Johnny Candon are experts at arsing about, and this very loose hour lets them do just that.

As an antidote to the many well-polished but soulless shows on the Fringe, this Irish duo look like they’re actually having fun on stage, and happily address the flaws with an impish shrug, as if to say ‘it’s only comedy, it’s not important’. That relaxed spirit of lighthearted fun pervades the whole hour, generating laughs out of nothing.

There are sketches between the banter – and it’s definitely that way around – sometimes inspired, sometimes not. The channelling of a momentary frustration at bad sandwich-bar service into a full-blown sketch mercilessly and meticulously laying into the O’Briens chain is brilliant in its petty revenge, while the childishly silly list of names Vincent Furnier is suggested to adopt for his new glam-rock career proves that Legge could get laughs out of reading out the phone book – if only he was allowed to write it, too.

When it matters, the duo have a finely-tuned sense of timing and skilful way of verbally misdirecting the audience, leading to some genuinely unexpected punchlines, delivered with a killer blow.

A few of the scenes misfire sometimes, though it generally doesn’t matter. Only Fiddlesticks, the parody of the gentle comedian (or ‘twee twat’ as they describe him) really comes a cropper. The barely-disguised Mark Watson caricature will probably baffle anyone not au fait with the comedy circuit, and even then there’s a risk of smugness here that’s thankfully absent from the rest of the show.

Actually, ‘show’ seems a bit of a formal name for what’s essentially an hour of Legge and Candon trying to entertain each other with silly banter. Thankfully, the audience get caught in the crossfire, too.

Review date: 18 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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