Croft & Pearce Are Not Themselves (4 stars)

Interweaving plummy stereotypes into a darkly comic brew

Croft & Pearce Are Not Themselves

They're on 'all ruddy month!', proclaims the Twitter of this talented sketch pair, sending up their own plummy delivery. It's getting tougher to catch them, though, as they're selling out from good word of mouth, plus their own successful Radio 4 show earlier this year.

Fiona Croft and Hannah Pearce are Oxford-educated drama students, with a show full of the stereotypes they know those labels conjure up: there's an irritating musical theatre wannabe, Melissa, practising Cats ballads in the law firm where her senior partner dad has wangled her a temping job; or the well-intended, prominently toothed, upper class Dan, repelling his girlfriend with OTT displays of romance.

Their characters are neatly interwoven: posh housewife friends Jean (Dan's mum) and June are a highlight, taking turns to lure one another back from suicide, with hope-giving pep talks about an upcoming Brabantia recycling bin delivery, or a new husband-and-wife run deli in the village. The deli lovebirds turn out to be much less smug than they appear, and there's a stale smell of bitter disappointment about school-of-hard-knocks Geordie Brown Owl, or callous supermarket promo manager Vee. They clearly have a very good ear and eye for dark details, and the result is smart and jolly funny.

Underbelly George Square, until 28 Aug (not 17), 2.40pm, £10.50–£11.50 (£9.50–£10.50).

Croft & Pearce Are Not Themselves

  • 4 stars

Vivienne Smith Management Ltd. The stars of BBC Radio 4’s The Croft & Pearce Show and Spirit of the Fringe award-winners return with ‘a laugh-out-loud sketch show’ (Daily Express). A BBC’s Next Big Thing act 2015, they’ve sold out theatres in London, New York and around the UK. ‘Edinburgh favourites’ (Independent).


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