LOLd on a Minute

Sun 12th – Sun 26th August 2012


Helena Blackstone

at 09:54 on 13th Aug 2012



As its title suggests, this production was less than well written. At first I was intrigued; the show opens with a slide projection of the script of a friendly crowd-warming computer who tells us of his attempts to build up a good atmosphere, while at the same time amusingly defeating any possibility of this because of the awkward blaring sound of the projector. Despite playing the exact same characters in various different guises, and the fact that their unidentifiable cockneyish “character” accents do eventually grate, Hugh Stanley and Archie Manners are still enjoyable because of their good physical humour, energy, comic timing and generally charming manner. However, at most points I was not entirely sure where the jokes were, but supposed them to be the shoutier bits. I found what I did gleam to be humour to be oddly unoriginal, often asking for laughs simply for insinuating that Archie’s character was gay. There are some attempts at poking fun at society, which I found to be uninteresting as they didn’t particularly play with the ideas in any depth. A skit involving the questioning of a criminal monopoly car offers some respite because of its originality and charm, but again its merits are mostly in the performance rather than the joke writing.

I did however enjoy the magic they performed together - it is infused with character and is sweet, but sadly is not given nearly enough stage time. Archie is the skills behind this part, going on to do his own solo magic act, which was impressive even if there was a moment when he almost lost his cool after mistaking a female audience member for a man.

I wish I could say that as it was their first night this fresh-faced duo still have plenty of room to improve, but unfortunately their performance is already spot on, and without a change in content I do not know where they can improve this production. Throughout I felt they hit the slapstick mark just fine but that I was watching a cheesy low brow entertainment act rather than the more intelligent, current humour I think they are aiming for. If they were to allow themselves slightly different aims to their comedy and incorporated the magic tricks into the rest of their skits, rather than leaving it as a separate and rather irrelevant add-on, then I would have been much more satisfied.


Ellen Smyth

at 10:16 on 13th Aug 2012



'LOL’d on a Minute' is off to a sailing start with its new show by Crazy Legs Theatre. The show mixes comedy sketches with magic to create a fun-loving performance. It begins with a computerised introduction telling us, “You are not allowed to leave!” And damn right – you shouldn’t.

Archie Manners and Hugh Stanley are witty, quick and lovable. So lovable in fact, that one excited audience member even shouted out that she might throw her knickers at the stage (she didn’t, but it was a promising start for these two.) A special mention should go to Archie Manners whose enthusiasm and showmanship throughout keeps the performance alive and exciting. The magic tricks up Manners sleeve aren’t always mind-boggling but his unstoppable exuberance means they are enjoyable to watch.

The comedy sketches begin with classic slapstick between two police officers and move onto a mock Chess Final 2012. My favourite sketch is the witty take on Crimewatch on the Monopoly board which is clever and original. The storyboard of pop-up pictures is simple but effective and probably got the most laughs from the audience, second perhaps to the more crude ‘Wank Bank’. This is a well thought-out show, and whilst some parts are stronger than others, it is always upbeat. I particularly enjoyed the dry and sarcastic voiceovers between sketches which helps the performance to flow and avoids awkward silences between different sections; instead the comic one-liners keep the buzz going in the audience. What's more, I was surprised to find I enjoyed the magic tricks – Manners get straight to the point with minimal fuss and performs with enough zest to keep them interesting.

This duo is well-balanced and gets top marks for effort which guarantees an enjoyable evening.


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