Archive for August 14th, 2012

DOUBLE EDGE’S ALMOST NOTHING TO DO WITH FROGS

Double Edge’s Almost Nothing To Do With Frogs- Underbelly 2.50pm

 

I must admit at the beginning of this review that perhaps I am not perhaps the ideal person to be reviewing this show. Being over twenty five I felt more than a little bewildered by the youthful exuberance and dynamic of over excitement on display which lent it the feel of a student revue. There was such an enthusiasm and desire to be liked it was like a litter of puppies all wanting to be chosen for the family home and I kept looking down and expecting one of these over excited youngsters to be humping away at my leg.

Putting these thoughts into perspective however- I have in the past reviewed children’s theatre objectively and found it pleasurable despite being anathema to my sensibilities- I tried to locate my inner youthful being and settled into watch the show.

What followed was about fifty minutes of various short sketches which seemed to centre on finding a modern day writer in the vein of the classic ones we are all familiar with. Thus scenes involving Shakespeare and Marlowe followed as well as electro raps, blustery rock interludes and an incongruous-if amusing- appearance by Alan Sugar. The jokes were fast paced and the dialogue well constructed but somehow it all just seemed to miss the mark.

Perhaps one reason for this is that whilst other shows are midway through their run and have settled into their acts, this one is just beginning and the lack of familiarity with the venue and audience reactions was apparent compared to the more seasoned veterans of this Fringe I have seen over the last few days. I am hoping that the act will settle down into something more coherent as the run continues but must admit that on the day I attended I was slightly disappointed and after about twenty minutes kept checking my watch-never a good sign- to see when it would be over. One for the teenagers and twenty somethings then –and they do deserve something of their own at this time of year- but unfortunately for everyone else, a bit of a miss.

**

HEATH FRANKLIN’S CHOPPER: A HARD BASTARD’S GUIDE TO LIFE

Heath Franklin’s Chopper: A Hard Bastard’s Guide to Life

 

This hard hitting show from Australian Heath Franklin would definitely be aided by a couple of swift drinks beforehand but this is not an absolute necessity-unlike a lot of comedy of this genre- as Franklin’s act is genuinely funny. He even avoided haranguing any latecomers and this is definitely a bonus in my book as I feel it is a lazy and irritating tactic far too many stand ups draw on unnecessarily.

As for the act, Franklin is quite prepared to pander to the beer swilling foul mouthed Australian stereotype with every second word a profanity, although the strong contender for his favourite derogatory term would have to be ‘fucktard’ which featured heavily throughout the show. Franklin’s casual couldn’t care less attitude is also a clever ruse as his act is very well structured whilst his improvisations with hecklers and audience members show that he is also very quick and adept at thinking on his feet.

Thus we are treated to tales of beer swilling Scottish children with mohawks and a surplus of phlegm, names of cocktails as outrageous sexual euphemisms, the intricacies and necessity of anal bleaching, and a rant about loud music in shops.

There is also a play featuring his first attempts at writing a script towards the end. This requires audience participation so be prepared for perhaps being pulled out your seat then thrown centre stage and into the action. This section was particularly impressive for the fact that one of the girls he dragged onto the stage proceeded to show a feisty side by pulling him up on his spelling. His other victim turned out to be a reviewer so this provided further comedy value.

This was very much a laugh out loud show and I must admit that although it is occasionally what is nowadays termed politically incorrect- soon that will cover everything remotely amusing- it is nevertheless highly funny because of this. Franklin managed the full hour and in amongst his rantings were some serious moral issues we should all consider. In the meantime just carry on laughing along with him.

****