Facebook culture is without a doubt the comedic subject du jour and, admittedly, I have begun to grow tired of seeing mimes of the ‘like’ function three times a day during this year’s Fringe. However, Mixed Doubles are at their best when underlining the absurdities of social media lingo and the minefield of internet dating strategies.
Indeed, they capture perfectly the often ridiculous nature of the tech-savvy generation. For example, an office induction into a daily routine of talking about the weekend, planning the weekend, calling 0800 numbers to save money, printing restaurant vouchers and, if there’s time, checking an email or two, definitely rang a bell.
Perhaps the most successful aspect of Mixed Doubles, however, is their ability to play to each other’s distinct strengths. For example, the rather dashing Will Close is perfect as the Casanova character of the group, with impressions including Ryan Gosling and a hilariously languid Andy Murray. Paul Aitchison is great as the ‘real man’ and his impersonation of a Scottish folk singer was a recurring delight during the show. Additionally, it was fantastic to see Megan Smith and Rose Robinson play such a diverse array of characters with such grace, charm and wit. Their dialogue – a long-awaited enhancement of typical ‘the doctor will see you now’ lines – was an impressive update of outdated conventions.
There were also some gloriously silly moments such as Mario at the Grand Prix or Vampire Awareness Week, but the sketches never relied on the lazy humour of schoolboy gags. Indeed, a play on the ludicrous heights of competitive parenting was no less than brilliant and the comedians never missed a beat in a script that was at times lightning-quick.
While the sketches were on the whole very well executed, a couple felt a bit loosely developed and it would have been nice to see a few more returned to within the hour. Additionally, Mixed Doubles are not really breaking any boundaries and sit firmly in the confines of the sketch-show format. However, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it- I cannot deny that Mixed Doubles provided unbridled fun from start to finish.