Like every year, there are an awful lot of young white men who’ve arrived at this year’s Fringe, sketch show in tow. Will Hislop and Barney Fishwick — the duo behind
A no-nonsense approach to creating agreeably silly sketch comedy
As ex-Presidents of the Oxford Revue, Hislop and Fishwick are no strangers to sketch comedy, or the Fringe. They’re at ease on stage, both natural comic performers, able to improvise around the unpredictable, playing the crowd with the assurance of performers with years more experience. Their playfulness sometimes calls to mind children in giant bodies more than it does young adults — in the best possible way.
The sketches themselves were rarely less than solid, usually good and sometimes outstanding. The topics touched upon ranged from satellite link time delays, to a language they invented when they were kids, and Norway’s future Eurovision entry. Some good ideas are a little shaky in execution: there was a clever little sketch riffing on Billy Elliot, but the actors’ accents couldn’t decide whether make camp in Scotland or County Durham.
There’s no particular through line for the show, nothing connecting the material beyond the existence of the show itself. Fair enough. Giants eschews gimmicks in favour of polishing the essential aspects of the format: this is a no-nonsense approach to creating agreeably silly sketch comedy. It’s a solid debut, sprinkled with a fair few moments of genuinely inspired writing. They’re by no means giants of comedy yet, but these two have the potential for great things.