Paperclips

Warning: This show contains blatant sexual references and some silly racial stereotypes.

All in all this is a good showcase show, especially for the free fringe.

When the audience entered there was an abundance of energy despite it being a free afternoon show, but as time went on it was clear some people were becoming offended rather than laughing. Personally, I thought this show seemed well judged and playing with the line between good taste and explicit sexual content well.

The show starts with a brief introduction to Jan und Friedrich by compere James Veitch, to establish the chaotic and offbeat nature of the show. Here, we learnt about their rise to fame including their song’s involvement in a Boris Becker sex scandal. Veitch started well and got some good solid laughs building on the energy. His presentation was meant to establish a chaotic feel to the show, unfortunately it was perhaps a bit too much, with some genuine mistakes, making it feel slightly awkward as opposed to intentional.

Once Jan und Friedrich (Matthew Cosgrave and Jonathon Stanley) came onstage the show revealed its true character. Their blend of musical comedy played on the overused sexualised German stereotype effectively with some brilliant jokes. Cosgrave was at his best with his use of silences, sucking the audience in effectively. The story develops and bring on the guest comedians in a refreshing alternative as opposed to just saying “welcome to the stage” method.

Their first guest Max Davis was tight and constructed good jokes without being particularly spectacular. Whilst not particularly bad, his observational style didn’t really gain any huge laughs.

Tamer Kattan, had the complete opposite reaction. This LA based, half-Jewish, half-Muslim comedian managed to get the audience into stitches. He knew how to play the audience, infectiously happy and his anti-American humour landed well.

All in all this is a good showcase show, especially for the free fringe. The Jan und Friedrich seem to carry some weight amongst comedians and seem to be able to attract some good acts. Unfortunately, I think the nervous and unplanned approach might work if done well, but in this case seemed to scupper the energy in the room. A solid show, and a good base for the act to develop as the run wears on.

Reviews by Christopher Spring

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Performances

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The Blurb

Madcap character comedy from award-winning German musical double act Jan und Friedrich. An eclectic blend of exceptional stand-up, comic songs, social ineptitude, special guests and one or two fairly life-affirming power ballads. Not to be missed. Das ist gut! Jan entertains with rousing numbers borne of his life experiences and Friedrich expresses himself through gestures and an approximation of rap. There’s stand-up and music from comedian and writer James Veitch and guest appearances are blended with musical improv and general silliness! A madcap hour at the Fringe!

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