Goodbear

As their hotel receptionist alter-egos, Henry Perryment and Joe Barnes help us check into The Hotel Après Vie for an hour of horror movie-themed entertainment.

With a few tweaks, this could be a top notch hour

There’s a lot to like about the duo from the off as they battle through a raging storm in the guise of two non-British travellers, finding themselves at the door of some mysterious residence. A disembodied voice greets them booms overhead, asking them where they are from. “Ehhhh…”, is their response, acknowledging the vagueness of their accents.

“Europe, we think? Maybe somewhere in Germany?”

Like many other sketch duos, their main conceit is just a vehicle for the pair to show off their comedic instincts. Simply playing with funny voices is a constant source of laughs throughout, from the faux-Dublin lilt of the Irish bartender, to the Jimmy Stewart character pleading with his pregnant wife. It’s clear that hours have been spent in front of bathroom mirrors perfecting the physical and verbal tics that are such strong features of the act.

We’re zoomed around the hotel, meeting a pastiche of characters. The writing, in the first half especially, is very sharp. It’s fast-paced stuff as each sketch builds quickly to the punchline before we tumble straight into the next skit, with characters rarely overstaying their welcome. Whether scripted or not, the bits where Perryment and Barnes ‘break’ character (fumbling a line or taking up the wrong position) are negotiated extremely well, with the wink toward the fourth wall provoking volleys of laughter around the room.

There is a small drop in momentum as we reach the forty-minute mark, however. It’s not for a lack of material, more the sense that the show isn’t going in any particular direction. The hour is not narrative driven by any means but there is an underlying feeling that the succession of characters could continue ad infinitum. This is not necessarily a bad thing, given the pair’s obvious talent, but a bit more effort to flag up in advance the series of callbacks that finish things out would be no bad thing.

With a few tweaks here and there, this could be a top notch hour. In any case, it’s definitely worth the ticket price – there are more than a few characters in there that are a joy to behold.

Reviews by Ryan O'Connor

Whistlebinkies

Alex Smith – Real Man

★★
Summerhall

Josie Long

★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Tommy Tiernan: Under the Influence

★★★★
theSpace on North Bridge

Crave

★★★
Venue150 at EICC

Frankie Boyle: Prometheus Volume I

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

The critically acclaimed sketch comedy duo are back. Join Joe Barnes and Henry Perryment as they confirm your reservation at the Fringe’s most mysterious hotel, inhabited above and below stairs by all manner of wonderfully eccentric characters. Accompanied by an original score! 'The writing is exceptional… Goodbear is not only pretty exciting and pretty cool; it’s also pretty damn funny' ***** (AYoungerTheatre.com). 'A particularly satisfying and unusual hour of sketches' **** (Telegraph). 'The pair excel at physical comedy… incredible' **** (List). 'Side-splittingly funny' **** (ThreeWeeks). 'Fluid, elegant and skilfully executed… ones to watch, for sure' **** (Chortle.co.uk). 'Excellent' (Guardian).

Most Popular See More

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets