If life gives you lemons you stuff them in a German’s face and make a joke about sauerkraut. If life gives you the opportunity to form a double act whose combined name is a mere letter away from one of the country’s best-known comedians, you take it.
Franks and Skinner are a comic act packed full of potential and they have many of the ingredients required to make a first-rate double act.
This may or may not be the sort of logic behind the formation of Franks and Skinner, the enthusiastic duo who’ve brought their first ever show to Edinburgh this year. They certainly make use of the similarity in names on a couple of occasions during the course of the act, although that’s about as far as the comparison goes. Instead of getting a laconic brummie audiences are treated to a frenetic slice of fast-paced comedy crammed with singing, dancing and in-your-face characters. It makes for an hour that’s high on energy, if low on big laughs.
From the moment the pair leap onto the stage action is piled on at a furious pace. Both Franks and Skinner throw themselves into their characters, whether miming, rapping, sucking blood or hosting a Gallic game show. It’s an impressive physical display and one that both are fully committed to. They invest vigour into every moment ensuring the action is consistently impressive if not hilarious.
When they’re at their best the comedians draw in the audience with this enthusiasm; a section in which Lorraine Kelly interviews herself leading to venomous acrimony is a highlight. However there are many moments when the comedy misses the mark, including a string of London underground inspired musical interludes which feel out of place in a darkened room in Edinburgh. Even the addition of the local tramline to this theme doesn’t quite ring authentic, lacking the bitterness that any long term resident of the Scottish capital has towards that enormous waste of taxpayer money.
Franks and Skinner are a comic act packed full of potential and they have many of the ingredients required to make a first-rate double act. This year they’ve crafted an entertaining if flawed show but there is certainly enough on display to mark them out as a pair to watch out for in the future.