In death, we find mirth. We have to. What else are we going to do with it? That Pair, sketch comedy virtuosos Kathryn Bond and Lorna Shaw, are queens of the awkward anti-climax. This blundering and bombastic production housed in the depths of Edinburgh’s cave-like underground theatre is dark comedy at its finest.
The show rotates around the memorial service for the duo’s slightly demented and drug addled manager Leanne; recently deceased; the cause of death mysteriously never revealed. The freshly departed is venerated by an unlikely and desperately assembled band of tangentially acquainted outcasts and reprobates. Among them are Leanne’s accountant, ‘stars’ Leanne discovered in prison, and a live cross to a hoolahoopathon in Sierra Leone. A funeral fashion show and risqué musical numbers about derailed domestic bliss ensure this is a send off like no other. This is a funeral service you wouldn’t wish on your least favourite relative.
The show is a canapé stuffed with wildly terrible puns, hilarious melodrama, ungainly and dangerous stunts, a splash of cattiness, and generous irreverence. It’s a fistful of laughs shoved right in the face of the decorum and decency one is expected to approach death with.
This pair (That Pair) bounce off each other superbly. Their dexterity as performers is certainly showcased in this production with the multitude of personas and caricatures delivered, each one more wrong than the last. The pair hint at a ‘straight man - funny man’ dynamic but also take turns to try steer this shipwreck of a ceremony back on course. They create tension beautifully with an underlying plot of unrequited love that becomes less underlying as the show progresses. There’s even a bittersweet tone of reflection on how one does quantify a life more or less ordinary. This is deeply delicious Sketch comedy.
This show contains a potentially lethal dose of joy to the heart. Dig out your funeral attire and get along to That Pair as word will spread like the plague for this brilliant performance.