Allsopp and Henderson's The Jinglists

Comedy is subjective – a cliché the truth of which I'd never truly experienced before seeing Allsopp and Henderson's The Jinglists. Six audience members gave a standing ovation. A girl by the exit declared it 'the best thing I've ever seen'. Personally I felt the Antipodean musical duo had wasted an hour and ten minutes of my limited time on earth. How can I justify my adverse reaction to something everyone else seems to have liked so much?I'll start with what I did enjoy. As the title suggests, this act focuses on two half-brothers, Lee and Loman, who write advertising jingles in their insular flat with no knowledge of the outside world. The jingles themselves are a lot of fun – musically competent, lyrically witty, and full of warm, exuberant energy. At times, I wished they were the entire performance. I also liked the infantile play-school furniture of the one room set and the motif where the marginally-normal Loman plays a glockenspiel to soothe the borderline-autistic Lee.Other than that, it was a grim experience. The between-song dialogue relied on shouting, slapstick and gurning – it felt like kids' show acting for an adult audience, and in less than ten minutes I was finding it both puerile and tedious. If only some of the verbal comedy involved in the jingles had transferred to these wearisome skits the show would have been vastly improved, but as it was these moments felt shrill and overbearing, the occasional gross-out moment exciting only for its nausea factor, a brief shock that wasn't all that shocking. The most appropriate mental image might be Flight of the Conchords covering the Bloodhound Gang. Everyone else liked it, though, so don't let me stop you – but don't say I didn't warn you.

Reviews by Richard O'Brien

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The Blurb

One room. Two jingle-writing geniuses. Catchy melodies and crippled emotions. Can love rescue these men or will they pummel each other into the abyss of madness? 'Midway between Beckett and the Boosh' (Chortle.co.uk).

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