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Brighton Fringe 2009

Carry On Drinking

Andy Thomas and Rob Maloney

Venue: The Sanctuary


Low Down

A two-hander sketch show from the pen of Andy Thomas that ranges widely across the world of work, life, alienation and relationships. 


Carry On Drinking is a show from the pen of Andy Thomas who also acts in this piece alongside Robert Maloney. Essentially a series of loosely connected sketches, an opportunity for Thoman and Maloney to bounce off each other – Maloney, the actor-performer, skilful at character comedy, Thomas, the writer, doing his material, less theatrical, but full of on-the-edge, manic humour. And it works.

This was top drawer comedy, full of originality and humour that really had the audience laughing consistently, partly at the jokes, partly at the skills of mimicry and character comedy of Maloney, and the wigs and off the wall portrayals of Andy Thomas. There’s comparisons with Eric Morecambe (be proud Mr Thomas), with the goons, the pythons to be made here. But there’s also a lot of originality. Maloney is talented, funny, his Columbo is studied down to the finest detail of a twitch here, a stroll there, even the eyes are perfect! Thomas tends to play his characters as Thomas, very much in the vein of Morecambe; we laugh at the material, we laugh at the scenarios, and we also laugh, knowing it’s Thomas again, this time in a different wig. Maloney plays the characters, (and very well he does too). Thomas plays the material.

I’m not really sure why this show is called Carry On Drinking, the sheer quality of this pair runs way ahead of the title that seems to suggest something much less. Also the consistency of the material needs a bit of attention.Sometimes the sketches trail off a bit where stronger endings are needed. But these are the rare exception, not the rule, in a production that is often first class.
Overall, this really comedy feast was sometimes a little too derivative but mostly full of fresh, shocking material., madcap, often wonderfully disturbing, a fabulous sketch between the line manager and the union representative bordered on genius. A highly recommended, strong a four-star show Look out for Thomas and Maloney in the future. Radio and television is a real possibility.