Giants (3 stars)

This article is from 2016


Tall stories with big laughs from a hugely talented sketch pair

Definitely not a Fringe show quickly cobbled together on the train up from London, Will Hislop and Barney Fishwick's sketch show is tightly woven and precision-timed, smartly self-aware but capable of dishing out big, daft laughs too. They seem painfully aware that a duo of young, white men on the Fringe is not a novelty; neither are precociously talented Oxford graduates, so they dish out mild abuse to themselves on both fronts early on for ice-breaking, favour-currying purposes.

The apologetic theme continues: one skit sees the friends (they've known each other for over 20 years) make unconvincing attempts to mask their charmed upbringings with slummy boasts about living in a sinkhole (it's a cottage, really), and in another, whiny meninists preach #notallmen.

There are a few lukewarm scenes that don't get going, but plenty very nice touches with an inappropriate satellite delay between a TV studio and a war correspondent, subtitles in a made-up language, a stirring Norwegian Eurovision song and a stern Scottish father who can't believe his son doesn't ballroom dance (speaking of sons, Hislop is the offspring of a certain Private Eye editor). Promising humour from fledgling giants, who'll no doubt grow a bit in stature from this Fringe run.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug (not 15), 3.15pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£6.50–£8.50).


They've graduated, so they're no longer allowed to be The Oxford Revue – forcing the trio to become Giants.