Libby Northedge begins
Their constant pranking and fighting is one of the most enjoyable aspects of their show.
The lengthy opening skit has Smith as ringmaster to Northedge’s half-dressed crawler, holding her by a leash and coaxing her with a bag of white powder. The atmosphere in the room is uncertain, but the commitment of the performers is unfaltering. The pair connect with the audience throughout, asking men for a hand up the stairs, to hold their leash, and even to down a pint. Their confrontational approach is enough to make you nervous, but it's well-judged and non-intrusive.
As the set gets properly underway Twisted Loaf reveal more of their off-kilter comedy through verbal as well as physical play. They riff on the contrast between social sophistry and bodily mechanics, accompanying silly actions with a posh North London drawl. The process of gentrification is given a zany twist as the pair frantically scrawl labels onto each other’s body-parts with black felt-tip (‘What is that?’ ‘It used to be an arm but now it’s a pret-a-manger’).
Many sketches are purely physical; a ‘legs, bums, and tums’ aerobics routine occurs and recurs with increasing hilarity. One baffling sketch, of questionable taste, features a job interview with a woman who seems to be going through some kind of drug-induced episode. However, in the context of their show it fits in; just one of Twisted Loaf’s many excuses to make a grotesque image.
Smith and Northedge make a strong team, and their constant pranking and fighting is one of the most enjoyable aspects of their show. If you can stomach their scatological humour, Twisted Loaf is certainly worth a watch.