Frimston and Rowett: Huge Mistakes

Mon 6th – Sun 26th August 2012


Steve Hartill

at 09:57 on 12th Aug 2012



I always think that sketch shows need to get two things right in order to be successful: well written, and well-acted. Often, sketches may be well-written but when it comes to the acting, the performers are merely being themselves on stage, and the sketches lack characterisation. Then, vice versa, the performers may act out the characters perfectly, but the scripts are lacking in wit or clever devices. However, in the case of Frimston and Rowett, the pair seems to have hit the exact right balance between the two. The sketches are inventive and original with plenty of clever dialogue and although the duo are the typical sketch pair of one high-brow theatrical type (Rowett) in contrast to one more bumbling comedian (Frimston), they both display some impressive talent throughout the sketches.

Their writing is certainly up-to-date with the Zeitgeist, such as their attempt at a satire sketch that gets terribly confused with the Greek myth of the satyr. They use a healthy balance between long sketches, like the Where’s Wally example, and short, occasionally recurring ones, with characters that become familiar to the audience. However, some of their sketches are too clever for their own good: the palindrome sketch, for instance, is hit or miss but distinctly entertaining.

The pair uses the stage well with its flawless lighting cues and soundtrack, one which, like their other references, is culturally perfect for an early twenties audience. On the other hand, other members of the audience may miss out, dependent on their age, but this criticism can be directed at most sketch shows regardless. Ultimately, Frimston and Rowett show plenty of potential as a comedy duo, attempting and succeeding at very difficult sketches within their show.


Mel Melville

at 10:00 on 12th Aug 2012



Sketch shows are often hit and miss, with some sketches provoking a giggle and others leaving you empty. Frimston and Rowett provide side-splitting sketches throughout the hour mastering the art of continuous hilarity. A show containing adventures of the mimed assassin; postman Pat; fireman Sam and Where’s Wolly. Many of the references throughout seemed to be aimed at people in their early twenties, leading me to believe it was primarily for a student audience. However, with the older man in the front in fits of laughter and the lady next to me gasping for breath, I soon changed my mind.

Frimston and Rowett are Cambridge graduates and this helps explain why some of the material will go over the audience’s head, with only select members laughing. Fear not however, because the rise of Bing, the gracious fall of Ask Jeeves and the many varied topics up for discussion guarantee a chuckle. There are the occasional recurring sketches, perhaps not of their best ones, but a character from the past that never fails to take his top off is always worth a watch. I believe their greatest material is their darkest. They turn an innocent children’s book, Where’s Wolly, into a disturbing tale involving prostitution and prisons.

Music in between sketches helped tell the different stories as every song is purposeful and humorous in itself. The lighting isn’t perfect with plenty of shadows on stage but this is just a minor problem. With only two performers on stage, you would think that there would be a lapse in energy or perhaps monotony but these two keep it up throughout, never slipping.

A fantastic sketch involves acting out failed policeman partnerships is incredibly witty, involving ‘lactose intolerant Larry with Martin the milkman.’ A world where no one makes mistakes is skilfully presented as the duo return to the previous sketches and show what would have happened. It’s worth going to if only to see a scene that's funny forwards yet shockingly amusing backwards. It’s eccentric and bizarre, exceedingly well written and brilliantly executed.


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