Comedy troupe GibbensMagnusJones’ YouTube mockumentary Don’t Drop The Egg, following the lives of three members of the fictional Clapham Falcons RFC, provided an effective and at times hilarious skewering of rugby lad culture. The group’s live show focuses on the dynamic between arrogant jock Archie Curzon (Gibbens), rugby nut goofball Oliver Blazeby (Jones) and their reluctant flatmate Freddie Shepherd (Magnus), but unfortunately fails to deliver on the promise shown in the original film.
Although the show is billed as ‘sketch comedy’, it is instead a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the Falcons’ changing room during a must-win game. The decision to set it here with the audience making up the rest of the squad was wise as it allowed the trio to successfully incorporate members into the show to good effect.
The script relies far too heavily on the character of Blazeby for its laughs. Jones is almost frighteningly convincing as the naïve rugger bugger and his Shakespearean closing monologue provides an amusing climax, but this just highlights the weaknesses of the other characters. Archie is almost too odious for an audience to care about at all, even when revealing his insecurities and Freddie - though meant to be the voice of reason amongst the madness - just comes across as insipid.
There is an inherent flaw in the concept of lampooning very tedious and obnoxious people as when the writing or acting isn’t sharp enough, the show itself becomes repetitive and brash. All three are clearly poking fun at their own backgrounds but there is a problem with this type of parody when its loses its satirical edge and begins to slip into an outright celebration of its supposed target, akin to Al Murray’s ‘pub landlord’ character.
There are also some ill-advised attempts at more surrealist humour that jar with the rest of the show. Archie makes a bizarre reference to a magical orb and the section with Freddie’s stalker Kate (who channels every bunny boiler cliché possible) which culminates in her faking both a pregnancy and her own death is just bemusing.
The live show does have a few excellent lines and a great performance by Jones. But Don’t Drop The Egg ultimately suffers because the trio appears to have run out of ways to mock a group of people who essentially parody themselves.