Sian and Zoe's Bubblegum Party
Corpus Playroom, 12th-16th February, 9.30pm
Sian Docksey and Zoe Tomalin are hosting a party, to which we are all invited. Describing themselves as "painfully self-aware", and with a poster in the background screaming the words "Meta as Fuck", Sian and Zoe create no ordinary comedy show. In fact, it is impossible to classify it as either ‘stand-up', ‘sketch', ‘satire' or anything in between. It's something which you have to see for yourself.
The act is very well balanced. It does not entirely rely on high emotions and raised voices, nor on one-liners and shocking puns, nor on props and physical comedy. Instead, the wide variety lends greater impact to each of these elements. The physical comedy in particular was very strong, precisely because it was used so rarely and at the most unexpected moments.
Some scenes were certainly funnier than they had any right to be. The pair was able to breathe additional life into an already strong script, really making the material work for them. I am unsure, without knowing them off of the stage, of the extent to which these women assumed new characters or played on their own traits; nevertheless, their contrasting natures and complicated friendship came across beautifully, and they balance each other out brilliantly.
However, the great strength of this production lies in its tearing down of the established norms of theatre, of Cambridge and, of course, of the Cambridge theatre scene. The Bubble can entrap us all; with Sian and Zoe, that bubble is burst in spectacular fashion. Sometimes even the humble TCS theatre reviewer can do with having his pomposity pricked, and they did this without any hint of bitterness. Because they are so very willing to laugh at themselves, I for one was happy to do the same.
Certainly, there were negatives. At points I couldn't tell whether certain segments were unfunny, in jokes or had merely gone over my head - I was repeatedly confused by the presence of a lemon, a sentence nobody shouldever have to write – and the repetition sometimes verged on the tedious. More significantly, the attempt at a unifying plotline fell flat and caused the pace to drop considerably. Unfortunately, following alengthy introduction, it was then mentioned only sparsely and elicited relatively few laughs.
Nevertheless, these issues stand out so clearly precisely because this is otherwise such a high quality production. Sian and Zoe work extremely well as a double act, the writing is generally tight and the delivery smooth. Whether or not you feel worn down by the more usual kind of Cambridge theatre, this show is sure to life your spirits. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bubblegum.
Ashley Chhibberblog comments powered by Disqus
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