Edinburgh Fringe 2010
It’s quite a slim show – around forty-five minutes, but then again, it cracks along at a break-neck pace: there’s a new sketch roughly every two to three minutes, every one of them sharp, toned, and gone before you’ve had time to react.
Diane Morgan and Joe Wilkinson’s comedy (under the steady eye of director Stefan Stefan Golaszewski) deals mainly in the fear of appearing stupid,and other woes of acute social embarrassment. Quite often the punch-line of a mostly silent sketch is delayed as long as possible, with very little in the way of clues, demanding that the audience put a little effort in for the best possible pay-off.
Both Morgan and Wilkinson are singularly charismatic performers, wringing as much as they can from double-takes, awkward intakes of breath, and hesitant smiles. There’s also a pleasing tendency to throw away some of their best gags as almost incidental, and there’s never a joke that’s laboured to breaking point.
There are a good few very smart gags, often riffing on familiar concepts such as fairy tales or urban myths. This isn’t borne out of any lack of originality, but more to do with that Christmas cracker feeling of managing to unwrap the joke before anyone else does, while there are very funny takes on old stables like Deal Or No Deal.
In an area of comedy that feels like it’s increasing its game year by year, this is a superior sketch group. We certainly have an appetite for a lot more Mash.