Line By Line

By Colin Flaherty

side by side
Line By Line pretty much did what it says on the tin – two comedians stood on stage and alternated in telling one liners and short jokes. The result was an entertaining half hour of silliness.

For the most part the jokes followed no rhyme nor reason in their ordering and covered a plethora of topics, although the duo had a penchant for gags about sex and violence (though not in the same sentence!). They ranged from clever to stupid, wordplay to absurd, puns to Dangerfield-esque quips. Occasional they created a run of gags on a particular topic but for the most part a scattergun approach was used.

While he had some great material in his arsenal, Rohan Ganju’s delivery of his material was appalling. His time on stage consisted of shuffling through a huge pile of cards to select his next gag and reading it verbatim in the most uninterested manner imaginable. Perhaps this slacker persona was deadpan shtick (there nothing that could be construed as a wink to the audience, just a numbness) but for someone advertising that he was a runner up in Raw Comedy, I would expect just a hint of professionalism.

Geoff Setty on the other hand had a wonderful stage persona displaying plenty of enthusiasm and wonderful timing. Even though he resorted to a set list half way through, he recited his jokes from memory and sold them hard regardless of their worthiness. Setty was the main instigator of banter between this pair and was quick to offer up a witty aside and cleverly deal with a few late-comers entering the tiny venue.

Overall they were a curious odd couple that kinda worked in this ramshackle world that they had created. Setty did the majority of the audience engagment while Ganju was in his own little world and became the butt of some gentle humorous insults. It was cute when each declared that they had run out of jokes towards the end of their time but there was also the sneaking suspicion that they actually had and were indeed this poorly prepared. If you’re looking for a slick fringe show, you’re probably in the wrong place.

Although this was a fun and silly distraction before a big Saturday night at the Fringe, it remains to be seen if people are prepared to pay a premium for such a slight show. Its short running time ensures this duo doesn’t outstay their welcome but you could probably get the same experience of scruffy stand up comedians telling one-liners at any one of this city’s many weekday rooms for half the price.

Line By Line is on at the Courthouse Hotel until October 3rd