Underbelly at The Wee Coo.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 stars)
Having reviewed celebrity siblings Maddie and Marina Bye last year, I was curious to see what changes they had made for this year’s Fringe offering. By now they are well-established Fringe favourites, so I don’t feel I need to introduce them.
This year I took my partner along with me – I raved about the show so much last year that I wanted her to see it – and it did not disappoint!
While Siblinginging has the same format, with sketch followed by hilarious sketch, it has a tangibly different feel. Their act is more polished and seems less impromptu, giving it a more grown-up dynamic. They dropped the sibling rivalry scenes between Maddy being a clown and Marina, the ‘classically trained actress’ because everyone knows they’re sisters and getting that out of the way allowed them the freedom to explore new material.
It was refreshing to see new characters like Judy and Gable – who come bustling in and talking to themselves and the audience in a comical American drawl, the school boys trying their best to be cool, and the ‘horsey’ girls with the pigtails.
It’s absurdist comedy at its best!
The YouTube sketch about a stuntman and his erstwhile assistant, is a longer, more creatively thought-out piece of material. I was unsure where they were going with it to begin with, but rather than trying to yield ready laughs, they courted the audience to invest in the story.
We were well-rewarded with Maddy’s hilarious clowning (I don’t want to give too much away) and Marina’s deadpan expressions, which get me every time! The shock ending was perfectly delivered and had an audible impact on the audience.
There were some returning favourites, the Northern married couple in ‘Snow On The Road’ and yummy mummies Ginkgo and Muff yelling at their offspring and having ever more ludicrous ‘treatments’. (They deserve a show in their own right, or at least more airtime).
I could go on but basically all you need to know is that this is well worth seeing. The talent shines from them onstage, their timing is flawless and it’s just all-round absurdist, character comedy at its best.
They are not planning to return to the Fringe next year – so catch the last show tonight if you can. The next stop for this talented duo is TV and you’ll be able to say ‘I knew them way back when…’
I’m excited to see what they’re going to do next!