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Anna And Katy - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

Fed up of sketch shows where you know exactly where you stand? In their latest outing, Anna Crilly and Katy Wix have produced some of the most brilliantly absurd scenes on the Fringe – but matched by an almost equal number of moments of head-scratching confusion.

Sometimes both states of brilliant invention and bafflingly obtuse comedy exist even in the same sketch. Take their South Africans, Nigel and Jeff, who prowl the stage with their ridiculously massive arms, trying to look natural. Visually it’s hilarious, while the dialogue, about their supposed ability to fly, is utterly banal.

However, the infectious joy the pair have in grappling with their outsize props – at the expense of remembering their lines – more than compensates for the failings. They are both hugely charismatic performers, as well as distinctly unusual thinkers, with an easy chemistry amid all the false awkwardness of the sketches.

A favourite has to be Crilly’s appallingly misogynistic Northern club comic, unable to disguise his hatred as he hosts the impenetrable game show Box Quiz; or the scene in which the pair of them beat the crap out of a raisin Danish with baseball bats. If there was a reason for that, it escapes me now. In video inserts, they play two Brummies trying to describe TV shows such as the News in the most tangential way – another couple of memorably funny scenes.

Why some of this fragile humour works and some of it doesn’t is a mystery. How is the phrase ‘I am the planet’ suddenly hilarious when delivered with the beautifully twisted pronunciation that defines their delivery, while other moments fall more clumsily?

Inconsistency aside, Anna And Katy are clearly the heirs to Reeves & Mortimer’s crown.

Review date: 30 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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