Shirley and Shirley
Dark twists on familiar sketch topics
This article is from 2010.
With fantastic energy and physical ability, strong, simple ideas and a remarkable on-stage chemistry, sketch show duo Shirley & Shirley are surely ones to watch. Comparisons to Smack the Pony are unavoidable but by no means disparaging, and while there is tightening to be done, their matching of a sophisticated interrogation of the absurd with an only-just-family-friendly look at the silliness of the everyday, could reach an impressively broad audience.
Industriously maximising their comic pairing, the Shirleys rattle through a host of relationships – friends, lovers, colleagues, twins - and move from a life-drawing class in a community centre in South London to a limbless gymnast singing Gaga on stage for Britain’s Got Talent. Marked by surprisingly dark twists, the duo turns a tone of seamless sobriety to some tricky material such as incest, racism and M&S meal-for-two-induced violence. It’s a formula that has proven to work in the past and yet this is a highly sugared dose of comic medicine for the mid-afternoon crowds.
Assembly Hall, 623 3030, 2.45pm, £10—£11 (9—£10).