SAMMY J AND RANDY- THE INHERITANCE
Sammy J and Randy-The Inheritance –Udderbelly Pasture 6pm
I must admit to being slightly disappointed with this show. The combined talents of Heath Mc Ivor’s Randy combined with Sammy J –both more than capable of carrying off solo shows- promised much but somehow failed to deliver convincingly. It came across as lacklustre and traded on familiar formats- juvenile farce seems to be big this year- and shattered the first illusion of puppetry by allowing the puppeteer movements to be witnessed by the audience thus destroying something of the illusion which calls for the audience’s belief in reality to be suspended.
The most successful sequences were in the first twenty minutes when the dialogue and chemistry between Sammy and Randy was at its peak but shortly after this other characters were introduced and the bad jokes, which were tolerable when delivered by these two already familiar characters, simply became nothing more than bad jokes. The musical sequences however were well crafted, and among the shows highlights,even if they did stray into vaudeville territory on occasion.
The plot revolved around the death of one of Randy’s uncles in Scunthorpe leaving him in receipt of a fortune from the will. A trip to England then ensued and in the process- via a witty joke about Heathrow- managed to run over a gnome, have a dig at the Olympics and eventually arriving at the stately home- haunted obviously- of the recently deceased uncle. The story lost its way around this point and the tightness of the script suffered greatly before descending into cheap farce- the second badly staged sword fight I have seen in as many days- and to be honest I was rapidly losing interest anyway.
The rest of the audience seemed to be split into two camps, between those who laughed loyally at every utterance and others- like myself – who were just bemused by the whole proceedings. The laughter never reached raucous levels- as it usually does at some point with either of these two- and always felt a little contrived. The whole show limped on for a whole hour and some ruthless editing or script reprisals could improve on the talent that these two are not fully exploiting.
As said before the show was uninspiring as I expected so much more than this and I know that both artists are capable of far superior work .The feeling-all over the Fringe this year- is one of safety and no-one wanting to rock the boat but instead of furnishing audiences with a feeling of comfort I feel it is one of ennui which will prevail.