Avent & Monie: Back to Front

This is a sketch comedy show, suitable for all those that enjoy great jokes and a storyline to go with it. Graham Avent and Jon Monie have been together since 1989 and although Avent nearly stopped comedy completely to take on a full time marketing job, the pair ended up returning to Edinburgh in 2013 and are back with Back to Front in 2014.

Avent and Monie are pros at the back and forth, constantly on the same page, setting each other up perfectly and executing punchlines expertly.

The show is split into an exploration of Avent and Monie’s own careers in comedy, conversations that take place backstage (whilst being onstage), and the sketches that they perform together. It is all incredibly well written, with a good balance between the silly and the intelligent. Throughout the conversations ‘backstage’ they explore their career and pitfalls of the past, comparing their relationship to a marriage and playing with it expertly. The ‘onstage’ section was a compilation of refreshingly original sketches. This was broken up with shorter sketches displayed on a VT of their own Youtube videos, to give them time for big costume changes.

Avent and Monie are pros at the back and forth, constantly on the same page, setting each other up perfectly and executing punchlines expertly. This is my favourite sketch show in Edinburgh so far, showing innovative comedy and clever mechanisms which are a joy to sit and watch. My favourite sketches include snobbish nearly-borns, wise-cracking workmen (which, though a worn character combo, is re-examined well) and, my favourite sketch probably of all time, a sexually frustrated librarian and her book club partner.

If you are looking for a sketch comedy show (and there seem to be an extraordinary amount this year) this would be a terrific place to start. Though not every sketch hits extraordinary heights, this writer saw the show twice due to technical difficulties in the first performance, and both times found himself releasing some truly satisfying belly laughs. Recommended for anyone that just likes to laugh.

Reviews by Christopher Spring

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The Blurb

BBC and ITV's award-winning double act with a difference ... of opinion! A heady mix of backstage tantrums and on-stage routines, Back to Front follows the exploits of a double act both in front of and behind the curtain. As the performance gathers steam, the performers let more off, hard truths are told and wisecracks begin to appear. Meet a range of outrageous comic characters whilst also bearing witness to the bickering shenanigans and possible disintegration of their creators. Will the show end with a punchline or punch-up? A must-see comedy treat.