Edinburgh Fringe 2014
Quick-paced comedy with a rich dark seam of misery running down a sweet rock of silliness. Two-girl sketch comedy honed from longform 2prov.
There is great charm and likeability in this selection box of sketches, that range from a pair of disaffected aging flapper-style girls, to a couple of characters right out of a John Hughes crush-movie. One particular highlight is a relentlessly grimly cheerful diarist who, despite returning for multiple scenes, never outstays her welcome.
The two Lazy Susans are never complacent, and each new sketch brings fresh strong characters to the fore, all with sharply defined characters – a neat trick, since at least a few, like a false chat show host, and a double-denim loved-up couple, could easily descend into cliché that is a bit – well, lazy. That doesn’t happen here, however, as each scene is pushed to – if not quite the absolute extreme, then certainly in the right postcode of extreme. Their creative process is fascinating, also (at least it is if the very friendly flyerer they’ve got working for them was telling the truth): involving as it does 2prov longform, recorded and played back for all the choice cuts. The fruits of this process are evident in the final stage performance: the sketches go off in all sorts of unexpectedly delicious directions.
Since there is some narrative arc in a couple of the returning scenes, it would have been nice to have had more resolution to certain stories: one particular relationship is crying out for a Richard Curtis style airport reunion. Or maybe that’s just this reviewer’s quibbling. Each character has a rich backstory (in one instance, literally, that we are allowed to see via the medium of flashback) which adds to the depth of each scene. Yes, these sketches are silly, but like all the best sketches, they aren’t merely silly – at times they have the potential to achieve real pathos.
Lazy Susan deliver a smorgasbord of double-barrelled sketch comedy that is entirely winning. The title of the show is ‘Extreme Humans’, and one suspects that they could push the envelope more if they wanted to: most of the characters and scenes have a black cloud of some sort hanging over them, and there’s a neatly pointed scene that asks just how caring we are when we share heart-breaking images on social media. But for the most part, this is infectiously likeable and smart sketch comedy.