Two Plus Ones: Huge Night In

Thu 3rd – Sat 26th August 2017

reviews

Kate Plummer

at 02:10 on 21st Aug 2017

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With a stone archway surrounding the stage and its low ceilings, the venue, the caves, creates a lively atmosphere that meant that upon taking my seat at 'Two Plus Ones: Huge Night In', the show seemed predestined for success even before it begun. Yet for something marketed as a sketch show, I had clear expectations for it to be just that, a run of random sketches of varying success.

However 'Two Plus Ones' took the standard format of a sketch show but added new elements that makes it feel fresh and interesting. Luke Sumner, Joshan Chana and Archie Henderson took on 3 different and distinct roles. Luke put on a stereotypical nerd persona, Archie presented as the self-described 'crazy one', and the 2 were balanced out by Joshan who took on the role of the straight man. Despite the randomness of the sketches, with stand alone characters and different 'bits', throughout the show at various points the actors returned to a central plot where they played these versions of themselves and reference what they are doing as performers. In doing so this gave the show more direction than sketch shows normally have and allows the audience to get to know the characters more.

The lighting and sound technicians are often the unsung heroes of theatre. In this case, the actors made the technician a fully integrated part of the show, with purposely missed cues peppered in for comic effect and occasional shouted conversation back and forth between her at the back of the room and the actors on stage.

Luke Sumner's portrayal in one sketch as a yoga teacher was hilarious and showed real acting talent and versatility as it was so far removed from his 'nerd' persona that he played in most other scenes. And indeed, this sketch took the usually groan worthy idea of audience participation and managed to use the audience in a very funny way. They were quick witted in their ability to improvise with different members. On that note, a word of warning- don't think avoiding the front row will save you from being picked on.

Fast paced with joke after joke, this is definitely a must see show for absurdist comedy fans. But a lack of variety in style may fail to keep other audiences engaged. There was some observational humour about the lack of consistency in what defines a racist accent, and they also took a swing at the Lib Dems. Nevertheless, the show was tightly written and the real friendship between the performers is very clear. Therefore, although not for everyone, it was funny for me, at least.

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Katrina Gaffney

at 09:11 on 21st Aug 2017

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'Two Plus Ones: Huge Night In' began with lots of flashing lights and the chanting of “shots, shots, shots.” I think this moment really captured the tone of the show, at times a little rowdy, but on the whole just a bit of fun, this sketch show had the audience laughing from beginning to end.

The show centred around three friends, Archie, Luke and Josh - each of which had a clearly assigned role. Archie is the weird, slightly dim one, Luke is the geeky one and Josh is just your average guy. Archie and Josh were a bit like caricatures with their hyperbolic performances, whilst Josh served as a much needed counterbalance and provided the show with a degree of normality. There was a great chemistry between the three performers; they worked well both as individuals and as a team. There is an over-arching plot but then there are also other sketches and musical numbers sprinkled throughout the show.

The sketches certainly varied in their effect and there was a smaller variety than I had expected but, as the best moments of the show were when Archie, Luke and Josh were being Archie, Luke and Josh, I think this worked to the production's advantage. The exception to this rule perhaps, was a yoga themed sketch near the end of the show, when Josh morphed into a failed business woman who was trying to be serene in the face of her problems. The transformation of Josh from a nerdy guy to this highly strung woman was indicative of the performer’s versatility and I was pretty impressed. He did a wonderful job holding the audience and had everyone laughing with his over the top attempts at serenity.

For me the musical numbers were a highlight, they were short and sweet and pretty much guaranteed to make the whole audience laugh. The use of songs really complimented the rest of the show, and whilst I can be sceptical when it comes to musical comedy, in this instance it really worked. There were a couple of gags which I think were perhaps more cringe-inducing than funny, however, considering the sheer number and variety of jokes in the show, a few that didn’t quite hit the mark can be forgiven. On the whole, the audience were very receptive to the comedy and the performance had an amusing and playful atmosphere.

'Two Plus Ones: Huge Night In' provided a good dose of light-hearted fun. It is certainly not the most high-brow show you’ll discover at the Fringe but it is one that is guaranteed to give you a good chuckle.

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