Wednesday, 31 July 2013

All Our Friends Are Dead @ 3MT, 27.07.13

There’s nothing funny about happiness: it’s just annoying. Sorrow, sadness and suffering, however, are side-splitting, so comedy couple Norris and Parker’s Edinburgh preview of All Our Friends Are Dead sounded promising. Having already performed a show called Comedy Wake they had form on their side, and with a set of promotional posters designed to cause goth boys to wet themselves with more than just wee it almost felt like a dead cert.

As with their other shows, All Our Friends Are Dead is loosely based around making the show itself. Opening with a delightful number about the joys of being a twat that set the tone for the rest of the evening (lots of music, lots of them being twats), they then romped through an hour’s worth of material covering murder with a tin opener, the art of improvisation and ills of society at large.

Sketches also broke down the 4th wall, with Norris and Parker regularly chiding their long-suffering manager Amanda Clapham (who appears on stage with them) about her lack of acting ability, her poor planning for their upcoming Edinburgh shows and her choice of clothing (described as “peasant whore”). This cruelty is part of their persona – few of their characters come across as likeable, and they opt instead to play people trapped in relationships that are mutually malefic.

The strongest asset that Norris and Parker have is the naturalness of their performance: it doesn’t seem like a performance at all (that could be an insult, but in this case it isn’t). That said, an area where they could do with improving is in their stage-craft itself, as some jokes were spoken over the audience’s laughter. A couple of sketches were recycled from their last show and, while still funny, the new material has taken a step forward, and so these older bits are now not quite as sharp. But these are minor quibbles about a very funny performance, and I’m sure they’ll do well in Edinburgh. All of their friends might be dead, but with material like this Norris & Parker should have no problem making new ones.

Words: Andrew Anderson.
Photography: Sam Edge.

No comments:

Post a Comment