- Katie Flannery
- 21 August 2018
High-energy duo create a winning combination
Cambridge Footlights Eve Delaney and John Tothill have undeniable comedic chemistry. With both of them hailing from (seemingly) middle-class backgrounds, this hour of silly sketches, character studies and improv shines a light on the pretensions and ludicracies of the English middle-classes and, though wholly ridiculous, their portraits of 'yummy mummies', incompetent dads and the generally insufferable all ring hilariously true.
Both Delaney and Tothill showed off their prowess in brilliant character pieces, notably the former posing as an obnoxious faux-RADA drama student, and the latter as an impossibly eccentric university lecturer. Yet it was their team efforts that brought the most joy as they ad-libbed in unison about various British celebrities, clearly having just as much fun as performers as they gave to their audience. Evidence of their comedy credentials, it was in moments that seemed least rehearsed, and most off-the-cuff, that they won the largest laughs. And, most encouragingly, their physically and vocally demanding hour-long set never lost its momentum, even when loud music echoed through from other rooms in the venue.
As with most sketch comedies, Big Shop had its share of misses as well as hits: the chaotic interweaving of characters into the finale being one of them, while audience members hailing from beyond the UK or an affluent background may have felt alienated at various moments. Yet Delaney and Tothill shone out as personable and truly funny talents, and promise a bright future on the comedy scene.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug, 5pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).