Charlotte Hudson & Leila Hackett (4 stars)

This article is from 2007.

Charlotte Hudson

Fresh sketches and bouncy tales

Charlotte Hudson and Leila Hackett’s lively performance and British beach setting perfectly reflect a Blackpool-style summer: slightly tacky and full of tongue-in cheek exhibitionism. Fake seagulls call in the distance as a parade of characters accost us with their eccentric mannerisms and quick wit. Their opening spectacular, a burlesque dance, humorously falls into neurotic flailing as we listen to inner monologues of ebbing confidence. ‘I forgot I was wearing a sports bra,’ whimpers Hackett. ‘I thought it would help with the bounce!’ But there is nothing bashful about Hudson and Hackett’s scintillating writing.

With Channel 4’s Smack the Pony and Radio 4’s Recorded for Training Purposes on their CVs, the pair have created an impressively slick and intelligently devised show. The sketches centre around strong, very English personalities, and feature sharp dialogue and clever observations. On the subject of carbon footprints an abandoned teenager bemoans, ‘I left my straighteners on for a week, so my parents couldn’t take me to Australia with them.’ Although some scenarios have familiar premises, such as an overbearing parent or presumptuous blokes in a pub, their invention keeps things fresh even in the baking hot confines of a Pleasance Portacabin.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug (not 15), 4.45pm, £10–£11 (£8.50–£9.50).

Charlotte Hudson and Leila Hackett

  • 4 stars

Sky One's 'Brainiac' presenter Charlotte Hudson teams up with 'Smack the Pony' writer Leila Hackett, in this sketch comedy double act. A slick show devised around strong personalities. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007'.

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