Hopkins And Glover: The Men Who

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Steve Bennett

Hopkins and Glover make an assured Edinburgh debut with this smart, skilful and witty collection of characters and sketches.

Each of them is a warm, natural performer, capable of grasping the intangible aspects of a character that makes them inherently funny, rather than driving their show by punchlines, catchphrases or anything too obvious or formulaic.

Their creations, all expertly played, include a lascivious French folk singer, Jesus Christ returning as a cocky Cockney or the annoying middle-class hippy traveller whose only adjectives are 'spiritual' and 'a-mazing'.

Some are more subtle, and work the better for it. In place of sitcom's traditional wacky neighbour, Richard Glover's is agitated and suicidal ­ and may or may not have murdered his cuckolding wife. Yet still the audience feel sorry for him, so professional is the performance. Similarly endearing is Charles 'Big Face' Davis, a man painfully shy and gauche in front of an audience ­ until he's brought out of his shell in an hilariously daft finale.

A couple of sketches relying more on the traditional double-act dynamic work well, too, and a ridiculous police interrogation in which each hard-hitting question and defiant reply is a tongue-twister is an instant, memorable, classic.

While the hour is sometimes more impressive than laugh-out-loud funny, the pair have captured a distinct, classy atmosphere, with a sly, obtuse wit influencing their writing.

There may not be quite enough to excite in The Men Who, but there's certainly enough to entertain ­ and to suggest a promising future for such an obviously talented duo.

Review date: 1 Jan 2013
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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