Contrary to the advertising, this show consists only of David Rees-Jones and Chris Hammond. Each man takes the mic to deliver his own stand up set and give out sweets. It’s an amiable hour, but not an especially funny one.
Rees-Jones is first to the stage. He has a commendable collection of puns and covers a wide range of topics. Unfortunately, there’s little structure to his piece. Subjects are regularly connected with lines like ‘Let’s talk about this... here we go...’ rather than via any thematic relation. This means his spiel has a rather stilted aspect which detracts from his punchlines. Saying that, he delivers accessible banter; his piece is an uncontroversial start to the day.
Hammond has a greater fluency in his delivery but a milder stage presence. This does, however, suit his more sardonic sense of humour. His jokes tend to follow a subtler line than Rees-Jones’s. Ultimately, the duo’s characteristics match each other well - there is a little stylistic contrast but not so much that they seem oddly paired.
Both comedians have pleasant demeanours and a friendly manner; the show is nicely informal. It is not, however, a particularly relaxed event – there are several aspects which are a bit uncomfortable. Audience participation, for example, often does not lead anywhere other than a bit of awkwardness. Attempts at improvisation can also result in dead ends: despite asking for audience input, on receiving it there was the occasional ‘Er, I don’t have much to say about that’. Planet of the Japes lacks professionalism- the show is by no means slick and this can become a little tiring for the audience. This means that the absence of particular wit or flair is more noticeable than it could be.
Essentially, this is a passable show and an inoffensive way to spend your morning, it’s just a tepid performance.