**** Terrific old-school silent comedy routines
An endless stream of visual gags from a couple of blokes in "snorkel" parkas, winners of Hackney Empire's Best New Act of 2001.
They were one of the two hottest comedy tickets on this year's Fringe almost from the word Go, and you wonder whether they can live up to expectations. They can. Against a background of black screens, with a couple of strategically placed windows, this duo bring forth a magnificent chain of routines. Hands are cut off and magic tricks performed, including the unique achievement of pulling a hat out of a rabbit; heads, hands and feet seem to assume independent lives of their own. There's a running gag based on Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam", with God's hand playing joke after practical joke on his new creation. Even a tea break assumes ludicrous comic proportions.
It's a glorious mixture of old Keystone movie gags and the kind of routines that used to be seen on the children's TV programme Vision On, and like both is completely non-verbal. There may not be a prolonged life to the act, but it's staggeringly inventive and executed with energy, precision and an infectious joy.
Written for divento.com
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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