Obsolete (4 stars)

This article is from 2019


A fresh take on the classic double-act from a very promising pair

With confessional stand-up seemingly taking over the comedy world, there's definitely an opening for more sketchy double acts. Comrie Saville-Ferguson and Dan Allum-Gruselle could well be leading the way on a new movement if their debut show, Obsolete, acts as a portent of the future. For this show, it's our very futures that are at stake. Today's event is being hosted by Steve (Allum-Gruselle) and Bint (Saville-Ferguson) from Focus Technologies who are here to help guide us through the maze of rampant technology which is making everything that came before it totally out-of-date (aka obsolete).

There's an opening number about all the things that have been made redundant by the digital world, delivered in a jolly, skipping manner one minute before becoming more sinister the next. Along the way there are some great sketches including the inherent attributes of Google, Shazam and Internet Explorer taking on human form, while the time-delay routine in their Eurovision scene borders on the delirious as they take awkward silence to its most hilarious extreme.

Their Bill Gates v Jeff Bezos routine doesn't quite match the quality levels they've already set, but things get back on track with an absurdist sketch about baby boomers (there are a fair few watching on in this room) being fuelled by 'steam power and rage'. There is a power game being played between this pair but it's more subtle than the usual formulaic double-act personality clash. Alongside the excellent writing and performances, this is just another sign that this couple might have a bright future ahead, even if the world they have painted in Obsolete doesn't.

Underbelly Cowgate, until 25 Aug, 1.20pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).


  • 4 stars

Tepid Productions After Fringe hit Speechless, Cambridge Footlights Comrie and Dan present the hyperkinetic, garish and gothic Obsolete: a sinister tech company presentation, combining the Silicon Valley with the uncanny valley. The product? A grotesque machine where one can upload their consciousness to the internet and…