Ant Dewson and Mark Silcox: Life in the Bus Lane - Free

Everything seemed against this performance from the start. This particular performance was beset by a daytime crowd of drunk teenagers to complete the scene, though they left halfway through, along with over half of the rest of the 40-strong audience, rocking the bus-cum-venue as they left. This was not a good day for anyone involved.

After a solid 15 minutes of near-identical musical numbers Dewson handed over the mike to Silcox and things took a turn for the worse.

Ant Dewson writes mildly cheeky musical comedy, revolving around domestic themes of unemployment, soiled underwear, the sexual exploits of family members, masturbation and paedophiles. He met the Fringe-approved target of at least one mention of Jimmy Saville, though missed the opportunity to slip in a Rolf Harris reference. Maybe it was the setting, or Dewson’s near manic obsession with rhyming couplets, but the ‘dirty’ themes outlined in his ditties just made me feel even more ill.

After a solid 15 minutes of near-identical musical numbers Dewson handed over the mike to Silcox and things took a turn for the worse. Silcox, devoid of any movement or facial expression, delivered his material in a barely audible monotone. While a fair bit of it was lost to the footy crowd cheers outside, I think Silcox was trying to tell us something about the glory days of being among the few who understood how to command Windows to show Print Preview. We hit perhaps the deepest pot hole of the show when Silcox explained that he should have got a better response to one of his jokes, repeating the punchline and being met with silence once again. He went on a little later to explain to us the theory of relativity. No jokes, just a demonstration using beer cups. Why did this happen?

Maybe this was a subtle experiment in anti-comedy that flew over the heads of all of us. It’s hard to say. Either way the performance had most of us eyeing off the emergency exit.

Reviews by Alanta Colley

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The Blurb

The least ambitious men in comedy present a hilarious new show about honesty, attractive geography teachers (yes, they do exist), party poppers, accidentally burning down your shed when drunk, 50 Shades of Grey (large print edition), musicals and throwing bricks into your neighbour's garden. Mark was a BBC New Comedian of the Year finalist in 2013, but his wife still doesn't know he does comedy. ‘Highlight of the night’ (Tom Robinson, BBC 6Music). ‘Infectious weirdness’ (Bruce Dessau, London Evening Standard). **** (Skinny).

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