Toby: Fuzzbuzz

Fuzzbuzz can hardly be described as a sketch show. Rather, the show follows the extended narrative of two sisters, Lizzie and Sarah, in the aftermath of a mysterious accident. Lizzie has lost her memory and her sister is acting as her deranged nursemaid, abusing her power to make money - the show is presented as a mock charity appeal on Lizzie's behalf. The two sisters are playing fictionalised versions of their real life personas with varying degrees of success. Lizzie, as the dazed but well meaning sibling, is played with subtly and sympathy. Sarah however, is a little too keen to convey the fact that she is a little unhinged, completely overacting her mania, to the point that it detracts from the piece. The relationship between the two characters is completely under-utilized. The power play between the pair: the outwardly dominant Sarah taking out her insecurities on her passive sister, could create tension and add a deeper layer to the comedy. Unfortunately, this is lost as you feel each of the sisters is playing to the audience as an individual rather than as a pair.

The show has the potential to sting with a darkly comic undercurrent, and there are glimmers of something like Psychoville that provide the big laughs of the show.

The show has the potential to sting with a darkly comic undercurrent, and there are glimmers of something like Psychoville that provide the big laughs of the show. The highlight was a brainwashing video flashing large in bright, jarring colours and sounds intercut with subliminal messages encouraging Lizzie to obey Sarah. This instance was genuinely funny and felt truer to the reality of what the story was supposed to be. Most of the real bite is lost through over-egged attempts to appear comically unstable.

The sketches themselves are few and far between and take the form of two-dimensional skits about delinquent children and a gospel song about a Toby Carvery. The jokes are mainly puns and simple wordplay. A sketch about counting Magpies crammed an obscene amount of bird puns into the scene, and you can't help but feel that it was funnier on paper. To be fair, this flimsy style of sketch makes total sense within the narrative - fictional sisters Sarah and Lizzie are putting on a performance for charity and it's not supposed to be polished. Unfortunately, even in this context the jokes aren't funny enough to pay off.

The narrative rounds off with a predictable explanation of the vague mystery that has run throughout the show. Fuzzbuzz provides laughs, but fails to deliver on its dark intentions and lacks the edge to sustain interest throughout the hour.

Reviews by Jane Thompson

Since you’re here…

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Mama Biashara
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Feuding sisters have never been closer, mainly because Lizzie has bumped her head and is suffering from memory loss. Luckily doting sister Sarah is there to teach her a lesson. Toby - Sarah and Lizzie Daykin - became an underground cult hit with their 2010 debut and their refreshing approach to sketch comedy won them rave reviews for their 2011 show Lucky. They return with their hotly anticipated third show. Stars of Live at the Electric (BBC 3), Anna and Katy (Channel 4), Dead Boss (BBC 3), Chickens (Sky 1). ***** (Fest). **** (Scotsman). **** (Guardian). **** (Independent).

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