At the beginning of this bizarre show, we are told by comic duo Matt Francis and Russ Haynes that over the course of the performance we would do two things as an audience. One: find a tagline for the title. Two: realise what the show was about as it is to be shaped by audience interaction. To be honest, I’d been expecting something ridden with sexual innuendo. I mean, “rabbits with batteries”, come on! That wasn’t the case and instead we are given an hour of fun but relatively bland conversation.
With a clearer sense of structure and an idea of where they want their podcast show to progress, Francis and Haynes could do well with their friendly double act.
We’re off to a positive start as guest comic Russell Hicks is introduced and the “characters” are established. Francis is the disturbingly out-of-touch Essex Boy and Haynes is the sensible moderator, directing the course of the show. As Francis tells us, “I have an older sister who’s older” and the audience chip in to explain to him what piety means I realise that the show isn’t actually about anything. That in itself is not a negative trait but Guns Don’t Kill People, Rabbits with Batteries Do doesn’t ever find its feet or manage to steer in a particular direction. Instead, we ramble through conversation with the audience, leaving behind the “topics and news” promised on the back of their flyer.
This is not to say that the show isn’t funny. It is, though not always for the right reasons. As guest comic, Hicks has some great lines and Francis and Haynes give us some amusing anecdotes. Unfortunately, there is too great a reliance on Francis’ ponderings which eventually fall into a repeatable pattern: a bizarre thought is said along with a shrug and Haynes tells the audience that it’s not an act, that Francis really is that eccentric. The things he says are hilarious at times but this structure doesn’t allow Haynes to shine and he ends up saying very little.
With a clearer sense of structure and an idea of where they want their podcast show to progress, Francis and Haynes could do well with their friendly double act. Sadly at the moment the humour falls short of success.