Your walk home from this late night show will be overwhelmingly consumed with the dilemma, ‘Was that utterly brilliant or completely terrible?’ The New Conway Dimension defies genre and is almost impossible to evaluate.
John Conway is back in Edinburgh after his debut last year, this time with the ineffable Michael Burke in tow. Burke’s humour is as deadpan as it comes; although he inputs relatively little into the show compared with Conway, the tone created by his unshakeable gaze and the way he fails to react to anything that goes on adds to the absurdity of the whole affair. He has something of Flight of the Conchord’s Brett about him.
Conway is a funny man; he has moments of slapstick, lots of surrealism and some flashes of brilliance, such as his use of time travel to try out different punch lines. The comedy duo play on their own inadequacies, laughing at the amateurish way they present their quiz and their underwhelming musical effects. It’s hard to imagine how many of their ideas even came out of a human mind; their content is entirely inaccessible, which is not a necessarily a criticism. Saying this, however, the show would benefit with some of its more abstract ideas being developed more fully to avoid the feeling that you’re meant to be laughing just because something is random and unexpected.
There is nothing professional or slick about this comedy; the hour is slapdash and feels under rehearsed. Every gag is almost like sliding the next Jenga block out of the tower and it feels as though the whole thing could collapse at any second. In many ways this only adds to their charm, but there are several moments which do just feel disjointed and ill-thought through. The different sections of the show are definitely quite hit and miss with the audience; one part where Conway offers up a selection of accents and impressions for comedic effect falls flat when it appears he can’t really tackle any of the audience’s suggestions.
The New Conway Dimension is definitely a marmite show; if it’s not your thing then I can’t imagine them winning you over throughout their performance, however, it is easy to imagine Might Boosh fans lapping this up. I suspect that great things are yet to come from these two; they are truly different, completely original and tremendously bizarre.