Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh
August, 2000

Miranda Hart is tall and stocky, Charity Trimm ("It's her real name!" says Hart incredulously) on the meagre side of petite. It's a good start for a comedy double-act, and The Orange Girls make much of it; a couple of times Hart literally tucks Trimm under her arm and carries her across the stage.

The duo's show includes some nice sketches about obsessively divvying up a restaurant bill, for instance, or a glorious routine in which a young bridesmaid gives deliberately malicious advice to here even younger colleague on her official duties as well as the aforementioned byplay, and the girls work equally well together in either mode.

Their main problem is that their material is geared more towards chuckles than belly laughs, and when faced (as on the afternoon I saw them) with a small or reluctant audience, they find it harder than many to build and maintain a level of response which will in turn feed back into their performances. This can create the impression that they are less funny than is in fact the case. But they are at the start of their joint career, and will learn to ride and to plan for such contingencies.

Written for the Financial Times Web site,

Copyright Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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