Synchronised Swimming: The Dry Version (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Synchronised Swimming: The Dry Version

Clever visuals and old-fashioned jokes merge in curious show

Comedy duo Ursus and Nadeschkin (aka Urs Wehrli and Nadja Sieger) are a big deal in their native Switzerland where they have won multiple awards, published books, CDs and DVDs since they teamed up back in 1987. They are a classic double act with Ursus as the straight man and Nadeschkin, with her shock of blonde hair, the clown. The actual synchronised swimming routine is joyful as they mimic and match each other's movements, whistles and clicks perfectly, getting faster and faster with every repetition, never once missing a beat. A sketch about an invisible kitchen – that plays with imagination, mime and sound almost to abstraction – is again beautifully timed. There's also some fun and clever visual gags about cleaning up modern art.

Nadeschkin's physicality and childlike wonder (even when swearing) is impressive and infectious. And Ursus is no slouch when setting up the gags and also during a sparkling 'death defying' fiery finale. A couple of jokes are perplexingly told in Swedish, feeding into ideas of misunderstandings in culture and language. Unfortunately not all comedy is universal and this section is a bit old-fashioned and silly. Perhaps the magic may have been lost in translation.

Assembly Rooms, until 25 Aug, 6pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).

Synchronised Swimming – The Dry Version

  • 3 stars

Ursus and Nadeschkin in association with Aurora Nova Infamous comedy duo Ursus and Nadeschkin have been dubbed the 'Swiss-German Marx Brothers' by Village Voice NYC. The pair fuses physical and verbal acrobatics at the speed of light. It's impossible to know what's rehearsed and what's improvised as this highly original…