EFR - Reviews of Sad Faces Threw a Party

Sad Faces Threw a Party

Sun 4th – Mon 26th August 2013

reviews

Victoria Ferguson

at 09:43 on 21st Aug 2013

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Sad Faces stepped out to welcome their party guests with the same level of energy that Lee Evans would show greeting a crowd at Wembley Arena. How refreshing to come across a group of people that have benefitted from the hours upon hours of fourth time repeats of stand-up on Comedy Central.

These guys look like comedians. They sound like comedians. In fact, Tom Crowly bears an uncanny resemblance to Hugh Dennis, but I suppose that’s more of a coincidence than a legitimate reason to praise his performance.

Throughout the show, Sad Faces attempts to transform The Attic into a wild rave for Tobi’s birthday, all the while painfully aware of the inferiority of their bash to The Party Downstairs. The Party Downstairs is attributed a kind of legendary status, with a mysterious voice echoing the words whenever they are spoken and rumours of the wild antics there casting a shadow over Tobi’s tame little shindig. It was a special treat to have the host of The Party Downstairs make a trip up to The Attic to confirm that Shirley Bassey had just arrived and that the Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, was proving to be the life and soul of the party by doing everyone’s taxes. Rock on!

‘Sad Faces Threw a Party’ is a really funny set that you can’t afford to miss if you yourself have ever felt the pressure of throwing a party. Jack, Tom and Tobi share some invaluable tips that will ensure that the next blowout you host will make everyone forget about The Party Downstairs. For example, serve a divisive snack. A controversial bowl of Twiglets is sure to get people talking. And if you don’t have any alcohol, it isn’t the end of the world. You can still get that light-headed, I’m-going-to-be sick feeling by simply holding your breath. Where were these guys at my 18th?!

The show is fast-paced and impeccably delivered, and Sad Faces prove that their talents stretch far beyond just remembering a script by interacting confidently with what was a very enthusiastic audience.

I can’t deny that I have heard better material amongst less established comedy groups at the Fringe this year. So why is it that Sad Faces is undoubtedly my favourite so far? Well, part of me feels that a 4-star review will make up for the fact that I forgot to bring a bottle of wine to the party, but I think it’s something more than that. Quite simply, when it comes to performing comedy, you either have it or you don’t. These guys have it.

But, if you’re still unsure as to whether it’s worth heading up to the Attic for Tobi’s 25th birthday party, let me make this easy for you: you get a free party bag!

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Christian Kriticos

at 11:07 on 21st Aug 2013

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The comedy trio Sad Faces return to the Fringe for their sixth year, this time with the promise of a party. Tobi is turning 24 (well, actually 25, but he doesn’t quite realise this) and his two best friends are throwing a birthday bash in his honour. Sounds like fun, right? Unfortunately, his two best friends are also his only friends, and they are completely hapless: the party is catered with Pom Bears rather than Twiglets, there’s no dip, and not even any cups.

‘Sad Faces Threw a Party’ is a true original. The comedians address the audience as if they are guests at the party, and there is some interaction, but just enough to not be intrusive and overbearing. As for the plot, nothing really happens – we just wait for the party to begin. Yet, at the same time, everything happens: Tom discovers he has a long-lost twin, Jack reinitiates a game of ‘it’ that has secretly been going on for fifteen years, and the party downstairs intrudes and upstages Tobi’s party throughout. There are also Jack’s Golden Rules for the party, which are slowly broken, and guest appearances from French economist Christine Lagarde and controversial Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei. It’s hard to explain.

The remarkable thing about this production is that it manages to be consistently funny without descending too far into silliness. Sure, most of it is fairly ridiculous, but the actors are somehow charming enough that the audience can just sit back and enjoy. Tom Crowley, Tobi Wilson, and Jack Bernhardt are all excellent playing, presumably fictional, versions of themselves. However, they also play other characters, and some of these are the funniest in the show: Tom’s Aunt Granola, as well as the plethora of hipsters from the infinitely superior party downstairs, spring to mind.

This is the kind of show one can only imagine seeing at the Fringe, and is a truly unique production with plenty of laughs. And if that’s not enough to convince you, there’s a free party bag for every audience member at the end. You might suppose that these goodies were simply a cunning bribe for this naive and unsuspecting reviewer, but, honestly, I didn’t need any more convincing.

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