Thünderbards: Chapter III
Some undeveloped bits dilute an otherwise sharp sketch show
This article is from 2015.
Sketch duo Glenn Moore and Matt Stevens return to the Fringe with their third consecutive instalment of Thünderbards. This year the overarching story is that they're trying to save an Edinburgh library from demolition, using books plucked from the shelves as the starting point for skits.
The early routines use some well-trodden comic material such as self-service checkouts and signing cards for unknown colleagues. To their credit they find a new slant to these old jokes, though two separate punchlines referencing characters from Friends rather date the show. Several sketches also feel underdeveloped. After staging an interview with Elton John, where the reporter mustn't mention his song lyrics, they acknowledge that they've not researched his back catalogue; this is frustrating as the complex yet tenuous links to the few genuine Elton songs get some of the show’s biggest laughs.
Other sketches are really well-crafted, blending physical comedy with clever wordplay. The voice-activated lights, a silent library and a piece on journalism that will strike a chord with anyone who has watched rolling Sky News, are particular highlights. Once the duo hit their stride, the references back to earlier jokes build a show with depth and their chemistry as a double act shines.
Underbelly Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 30 Aug, 5pm, £8.50–£10 (£7–£9).