Showbiz, or, Repeat Until Funny

A comedy that ironically centres around two failing comedians should find humour in the ineptness of these characters. Sadly Showbiz, or, Repeat Until Funny does not achieve this and we are left awkwardly watching the actors fishing for laughs in this disappointing production.

I struggle to find any discernible point to this show whatsoever.

The show tries to showcase 'many kinds of comedy from the broadest to the most sophisticated.' Unfortunately all this does is make the production seem like a jack of all trades but master of none. Joke after poorly constructed joke is delivered along with lazy one-liners and very unconvincing slapstick, provoking no more than a nervous giggle in response.

What is confusing is that the show attempts to parody the comic genre by taking a very literal interpretation of the 'death' of a comic. As this is so unsure, we have no idea if we are supposed to be laughing with or at the characters. If the overriding joke is that the two failing comedians are rubbish then it needs to invite us to laugh at them.

One joke in particular was outright distasteful. A recently resurrected clown bursts in on an argument between the two comedians. He begins to call them "mummy and daddy" and then, as "mummy" is on the floor crying in terror, the clown unbuckles his belt and shouts "I'll show you where babies come from!" If sheer filth is the intention, then stick to risqué dirty material, don't resort to rape as a cheap way to make a joke.

The script leaves a lot to be desired. The dialogue seems to copy a bad sitcom and the plot consists of little more than exchanges of nonsense over and over again. Maybe this is the point but there is absolutely no variety in the tone of the piece. It is quite simply dull. The characters - one a grumpy cynic, the other a babbling optimist - are so flat and one dimensional that we have no emotional investment in them at all.

That pretty much sums it up. The appearance of a random clown really tips the balance from confusion to utter dumbfoundedness and I struggle to find any discernible point to this show whatsoever. 

Reviews by Alex Hargreaves

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Meet Jimmy and Joe, two comedians who are not so much failed as actively failing, teetering on the brink between has-been and never-was. Riven by internal and external pressures, their comedy partnership has reached breaking point. And there is the small matter of the dead body in the upstairs bedroom… A body which is slowly changing into a clown. Featuring many different kinds of comedy from the broadest to the most sophisticated, slapstick and verbal wit, satire, farce, irony, and sheer filth. Showbiz… is a horrifically funny new comedy from Theatre Found.