Edinburgh Fringe 2014
Short and Curly turn their attention to the world of the mystery as their new 3rd partner has been murdered. They run us through the suspects before running through the mystery of why Andy is not as dead, or is maybe is as dead as we think or thought…
Short and Curly are at one of those after show bashes and are about to introduce us to Andy, their 3rd guy. He has just been with them in a powerhouse performance before it is discovered that he is dead. We are then sent round a wonderful array of characters. Short and Curly do this exceptionally well and we travel through a 1950’s sketch, one from the 80’s, find ourselves in the midst of a wrestling completion until we arrive at the conclusion that due to Andy’s prevailing condition, he may not be dead at all.
The writing meanders a little as it attempts to bring us the murder mystery to baffle all other mysteries. There are sketches that are better than others – my favourite was the 1950’s one. I also really enjoyed the magician’s sketch and the performance was not too above making fun of itself. My slight niggle was that – if you had just performed with Andy and are using the conceit of an after show party to begin this would you not have already noticed that Andy was not as you imagined? It’s a slight niggle as the performances made you go with it rather than be overly judgmental.
Both Short and Curly are hitting this with all the verve they can muster. It does crack along at some pace and the audience were very much up for getting on the fast train with them. This is because this is a duo with finely honed skills. Ne’er a dropped metaphor or missed opportunity to hit a humorous mark was missed as the audience responded with laughter and delight. Their greatest strength is the depth they bring to some of their characters. I also really liked the use they made of Gonzo and the audience participation is exceptionally well measured. The ending with how they moved Andy is also a wee bit of a triumph though when I saw it there seemed to be a slight technical or at least it may have been a human steering issue.
Props were well used and the staging was spot on for this small venue in an Italian restaurant. This was another Free Fringe show that demonstrates that free does not mean any lesser quality. I may have giggled rather than guffawed but it did make me laugh. There were others round about me that were in hysterics so it clearly has found an audience that works for them.