Have you ever been the uncomfortable one at a party, standing around the edges, not quite connecting with those around you? If so, this is a show for you. Trillcumber (Simon McCulloch, Hayley Tantau and Mario Hannah) have composed a slick hour of sketch in Is This Intimacy? As well as being terrifically funny, the show explores the awkwardness of relationships in their various forms, from first introductions to fraught romantic entanglements.
Trillcumber have created some wonderful characters in this show. Even in the more bizarre sketches, everything has a real, emotional base. You find yourself having sympathy for foxes and rooting for anthropomorphic planets. Tantau’s powerhouse of empowerment, Cindy Salmon, was a stand-out, aurally assaulting the audience with a combination of harsh feminist truths and even harsher air horn. McCulloch and Hannah’s performances as a serious actor and comedian-turned-serious actor starring together in a film were hilarious – a classic clash of drama and absurdity.
The sketches in Is This Intimacy? are filled with relationships that occupy a space of slight discomfort. They’re often a step shy from full-on conflict, characters swallowing their issues to keep the peace. Trillcumber deftly mine these social ineptitudes for laughs. The trio does a great job of highlighting how we all share something in feeling like outsiders, without coming across as preachy or smarmy. They have a strong rapport on stage, and their performances feel really natural. All three performers have previous experience with The Improv Conspiracy, and it shows – Is This Intimacy? is a very confident, polished first show for Trillcumber.
There’s great honesty in Is This Intimacy? Trillcumber present gloriously ridiculous scenarios, populated with characters that feel genuine. It’s sketch that brings together humour and heart.
Is This Intimacy? is on at The Improv Conspiracy – Theatre until September 25