Siblings
  • By Tom King
  • |
  • 18th Aug 2017
  • |
  • ★★★

The art of the comedic double act is a difficult one and its success largely based on chemistry between the two performers. So what happens when these two performers share not just chemistry but also genetics?

Go with it and seize the madness with both hands.

Such is the case with Maddy and Marina Bye, the real-life sisters who make up Siblings. Both compelling and energetic character comedians, the Byes play off each other as if they’ve been doing it their entire lives (which they probably have). The result is a show which feels like a much-enhanced version of every long car journey with my own sister - all fun and games but with a strong possibility that someone might lose an eye.

There are funny moments throughout – the grotesquery of the Yummy Mummys and the pair’s imaginative use of their own childhood videos being high points for me. However a lot of the funniest points come from non-scripted moments (an extended dance sequence with one particularly game member of the audience) or sheer energy and absurdity. This is all well when it works but a number of the sketches – BullyBusters and Sackety Sack - tip over from surrealism and darkness into hyperactivity and shouting.

This peculiar hit rate may be a result of the performers’ shared heritage – alongside well-drawn characters sit some which feel like the result of family in-jokes, in need of an outside nudge to give them a touch more mass appeal. With this in mind, the current show displays a madcap promise which, with a little refinement and perhaps a loose plot to focus around, could be something a bit special.

Siblings is certainly uneven but, on balance, its particular bizarre blend of surrealism and character comedy is one well suited to its giddy late-night timeslot. My advice to get the most from the show – go with it and seize the madness with both hands.

Reviews by Tom King

Pleasance Courtyard

The Gruffalo's Child

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Siblings

★★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Leaf by Niggle

★★★★
C venues – C royale

A Common Man: The Bridge That Tom Built

★★★★★
Bedlam Theatre

Britney in: John

★★★★
CanadaHub @ King's Hall in association with Summerhall

Siri

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Bound by blood and ambition, character comedians and real-life sisters Maddy and Marina Bye set sail on their maiden voyage. This hotly anticipated debut show is a cacophony of sketch, Gaulier-trained clowning, intensely serious Guildhall trained acting and a whole lot of synchronised dance. Hop aboard for a raucous journey into the absurdity of an all too familiar world. Suitable for anyone who has or has seen a sister. ‘Watch out for these gals’ (Jennifer Saunders). ‘Hilarious’ (Dawn French). ‘Really funny’ (Miranda Hart).