EFR - Reviews of Goodbear

Goodbear

Sat 2nd – Sun 24th August 2014

reviews

Flo Layer

at 09:56 on 17th Aug 2014

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Despite a bare set consisting of only two chairs on stage, Joe Barnes and Henry Perryment led the audience on a hilarious and imaginative hour long journey as they delivered their unbelievably inventive comedy sketch show, Goodbear.

The entire performance was incredibly slick, as the duo moved from one character to the next like a well-oiled cinematic machine, whether it was two soldiers standing on a landmine to the raging flirtations of a homosexual boxer in the ring, keeping every set of shoulders in the audience shaking with laughter throughout.

Both Barnes and Perryment performed with such fluency that there were hardly ever moments of confusion or incomprehensibility. The superb imitation of the slow-mo actions of astronauts in zero gravity to the hilariously awkward movements and negotiations of the duvet as the duo slipped into the roles an arguing couple in bed were particular highlights.

A review of this show would not be complete without a special mention of Barnes’ brilliant facial expressions, which were enough to make the whole audience shake with laughter throughout. It was as if his face was made of the most hilarious rubber which he twisted into so many snort-worthy expressions; from the innocent verging on vacant expression of Jane in a Jane Austen parody sketch, to the sour-faced sulk of a mucky teenager receiving a telling off from a righteous adult.

On the other hand, Perryment completely lost face at one point and broke into unbearable chuckling along with the audience, but far from ruining the magic of the performance it merely added to the general comedy.

I couldn’t help but wonder occasionally whether the infectious laughing and snorting from our fellow brave front-row audience members was perhaps enough on its own to encourage me to giggle all the way through, but the show is definitely original and inventive enough to speak for itself.

Max Perryment’s brilliant soundtrack proved to be the glue that held the whole show together, delivered and timed with utmost accuracy and setting the scenes for each brilliant sketch.

The show wound up with a glimpse of brilliant coherence from director George Chilcott, as the pair revisited earlier roles to tie everything up at the end into a big comedy bow. If you fancy an evening of comedy brilliance to lighten up after the depths of some of the more intense shows at the fringe, make sure you head to the Wee Red Bar venue to get a huge delicious slice of comedy brilliance from this fantastic duo.

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Kate Wilkinson

at 10:46 on 17th Aug 2014

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The guy sitting next to me was evidently on familiar terms with Henry Perryment and Joe Barnes, who form the comedy double-act, Goodbear. He was in loud and uncontrollable fits of giggles the whole way through their set. So too, were the entire audience and I think everyone wanted to be friends with the lively duo by the end.

Goodbear start their set by awkwardly shuffling onstage, eyes wide, gaping nervously at the audience. We hear their thoughts as a voice-over and the pair corresponds with hilariously expressive faces. The comic self-consciousness established in their opening spiel is witty and engaging, and the pair flick elegantly between the melodramatic absurdity of their sketches and a naturalistic rapport with the audience. They remain confident and charismatic throughout, putting their audience totally at ease. The accompanying original score by Max Perryment is slick and enhances the comedy to great effect.

As we are warned at the start, Goodbear’s style is intense. Taking their cue from overblown Hollywood cheese, the pair portrays threats at gunpoint, fraught marriages, and stressed astronauts. Often the pair generates hilarity before a word is even spoken, simply through a jaunty eyebrow, or quivering lip. At one point, Joe Barnes’s emotional wife character becomes too much for Henry who corpses, much to the delight of the audience.

One particularly successful sketch is a boxing ring stare-down in which we hear wildly contrasting thought-processes. As Joe’s macho thug contemplates Henry’s demise, Henry anticipates a romantic encounter and the sketch ends in a magnificent kiss.

However, as is often the case with sketch shows, there are a few misses among the hits and some of the sketches could have been a little tighter. Henry’s camp nagging mother character slightly outstays her welcome.

The entire set is satisfyingly well thought-out and director George Chilcott has done a good job. Goodbear’s piece is elegantly wrapped up at the end with a brief snippet of each previous sketch in quick succession. In all, this is a guaranteed evening of laughter and I thoroughly recommend this show.

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