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Boom Jennies: Blowout

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Steve Bennett

I hope you like bad dancing, because The Boom Jennies do a LOT of it. Almost every other sketch has them flailing their limbs around in a whirlwind of poorly-choreographed energy. It’s sometimes funny – occasionally very funny – but used far too often.

By 40-odd minutes in, I was getting very weary of the same old device, and ready to write this female trio off as vigour over content, but in the last ten minutes, starting with a Riverdance scene, they must have pressed some metaphorical overdrive button, as the quality suddenly soared exponentially as they combined wit, verve and surprise for an impressive climax.

There’s no doubt that all three bring a charisma and passion to their performance. Catriona Knox is a lithe, intimidating physical tsunami; while Anna Emerson and the lovelorn Lizzie Bates are not afraid of any messy humiliation in search of a laugh. That could smack of desperation, but they manage to pull it off.

However, for the most part, their talents as performers outshine their talents as writers.

Blowout is an overtly ‘girly’ show, in the same way some all-male troupes can be too laddish, lest you think that statement sexist. The sketches are about being dumped, trying on dresses, their strange relationship with food and, yes, prancing around to disco hits. There are some gems before the last few brilliant scenes – the job interview gags will get you every time – but often the writing isn’t taut enough, especially when it comes to knowing when to end a scene, or an idea. Once you’ve got you laugh, leave, don’t over-explain it; and the stalkery pen-pal character didn’t need to make a reappearance.

Despite this, the fast-paced, cartoon-like energy gets them a long way, with enough flickers of brilliance to suggest a fruitful future.

Review date: 28 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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