Thünderbards: Chapter III

From the sweaty depths of their library on Cowgate, Matt Stevens and Glenn Moore give an entertaining hour of sketch comedy. The show’s quirky premise revolves around the pair’s fundraising attempts to save their local public library from demolition. and so we are treated to an array of sketches featuring books that they have invented.

Thünderbards have all the makings of a cracking sketch duo.

Stevens and Moore bounce well off each other, rattling through their sketches with seamless transitions and dedication. Their high energy throughout is commendable, but at times they have to work a bit too hard to pull off a gag, making the material seem laboured as opposed to upbeat.

Stevens has a knack for deadpan characterisation and impresses on the guitar with a sad, serious song. We know that’s what it is because it’s in a minor key, he tells us. The song also includes a stack of hilariously sad metaphors. Moore’s easy charm creates an assured first impression and his comic physicality is exploited as a robotic figurine from Hampton Court Palace.

Thünderbards have all the makings of a cracking sketch duo. Some of their funniest sketches include the excessive office card-signing foisted onto the unfortunate new worker, the gap year detective trying to find himself, and a South African fitness instructor.

However at times, the writing just isn’t sharp enough. The inclusion of one too many naff puns comes across as lazy rather than ironic. A couple of running jokes, such as the looping news report, don’t increase in hilarity upon repetition. A few of the sketches rely too heavily on gimmicky techniques such as the interior monologue voice-over, and voice-activated lights turning on and off. These raise a smile, but don’t quite reach the potential of their better material. The right ingredients are there, but a little more development and punchier timing is needed to take the show from solid to outstanding.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Critically acclaimed sketch duo Thünderbards – 'Without question one of the funniest sketch shows on the Fringe' (GQ) – return to Edinburgh with their third hour of comedy. Tipped as 'one of the UK's most promising emerging sketch acts' (Edinburgh Festivals Magazine), Thünderbards create surreal scenes, vibrant characters and off-beat jokes, as silly as they are scholarly. Chapter III follows the boys as they strive to get through every book in their local public library in the hour before its inevitable closure. Madness. **** (List, Telegraph, ThreeWeeks, BroadwayBaby.com).

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