Siblings: Acting Out
Underbelly George Square
**** (Four Star)
Outrageous, ridiculous character comedy
Hailed as Rising Stars of British Comedy by YOU magazine, Siblings Maddy and Marina Bye return to the Fringe after launching their sell-out debut show last year. It begins with the stage in darkness, each sister holding a pose and taking turns to light their faces with a handheld torch. They remain still as their thoughts are played aloud for the audience to hear. The audience members shifted in their seats, there were a few uneasy laughs and I briefly wondered ‘What the hell have I come to review?’
However, that opening worked brilliantly as it left us unsure of what to expect next which prepares you for the zaniness of the next hour. They switch up the tempo once they officially ‘start’ the show and introduce themselves. Marina milking her ‘I’m a classically trained actress’ line with poor Maddy being forever pushed aside as the one always clowning around.
Marina is in fact, a classically trained actress (Guildhall School of Music and Drama), and Maddy is a professionally trained clown from Ecole Phillippe Gaulier in Paris. They play on this to the hilarity of the audience throughout. Anyone who has experienced the bittersweet game of sibling rivalry can relate. Always trying to get one up one on the other is what creates the comedy tension with the audience eager to see who the winner will be.
The back-to-back sketches are quick-fire with so much packed into an hour that not a moment is wasted. Every gag raises a laugh, but the ones of the yummy mummies ‘Muff’ and ‘Ginkgo’ were audience favourites. The girls contort their faces using elastic bands and speak to each other in high-pitched quaffy voices ‘Dahhhhling have you heard of tuck, suck and blow?’ turning to look at the audience with manic staring eyes.
Their play ‘Molly and her Singular Pube’ is absurd and funny in its pure silliness. Adopting exaggerated northern voices, they play a married couple. Marina a sexually frustrated housewife who ends up distractedly dusting audience members, Maddy the stereotypical working man lost in his paper.
My personal favourite of all the sketches was the one about the Chimyumsimyasa Kudi Kudi Casa Centre all about healing and meditation. The girls were hysterically funny in their portrayal of yogi gurus. I don’t want to spoil anything but I would go back for that sketch alone. I belly-laughed the whole time, tears streaming down my face. All sense of dignity was gone. In my opinion that is brilliant comedy. This show made me forget myself and everything else for a whole hour. Therapy for a bargain price.
The Wee Coo tent is an intimate venue which lends itself well to the audience participant dynamic of the show. I DARE you to sit in the front!
Unmissable (And I’m not even a comedy fan)
Showing at 18.40 until Monday 27th August @Underbelly