Surname and Surname

Paul Foxcroft and Briony Redman have both left their sketch show group to try their luck as a twosome. The result is nearly an hour’s worth of comedy, offering a mix of stand-up, sketch comedy, music, and even something resembling dance and physical performance. The show touches upon a lot of subjects, from MTV on the Beach featuring Brad Pitt and Nick Clegg, to the differences between British, American and Scandinavian acting.

With a background in improvised comedy, Surname has a lot to offer in terms of going with the flow; the performers are good at detecting what works and what doesn’t with their audience. The opening sketch featured a discussion between two witches, already here the differences between the two parts of this double act become apparent. Their contrasting personalities and comic styles do, to a large extent, represent the foundation of many of their sketches and work as a lasting joke throughout the performance. This helps preserve the show’s consistency and clarity whenever the silliness appears to be just a bit too much.

Particular highlights include a sketch entitled Batman’s Diaries and a surprisingly funny musical sketch called Capital FM. The performers seemed genuinely surprised that the latter was so well received by the audience, something that just adds to the warmth and humour with which the show is carried out. That being said, it cannot be ignored that some of the jokes are worse than others and the show does, at times, seem just a tad too silly. Considering it only lasts for 50 minutes, one would hope that some parts would be thicker on laughs and stronger in terms of comic clarity than it was in this case.

However, Paul Foxcroft and Briony Redman have, on the whole, managed to put together a show well worth our time. Some of their sketches are genuinely hilarious and manage to make up for the less successful parts of the performance.

Reviews by Lene Korseberg

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Performances

The Blurb

Paul Foxcroft (word assassin) and Briony Redman (word support worker) are one half of sketch group Ladies and Gentlemen (Best Free Fringe Shows, Scotsman, ‘spot on’ ThreeWeeks). Now they’ve decided to go it alone. Together.

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