By Ron Bingham
After taking the 2017 Fringe off (for reasons they explain at the end of the show), Hannah Croft and Fiona Pearce are back with the continuing saga of Jean and June, the ultimate middle class ladies, and their families.
Set in a village that could produce a David Cameron or Theresa May, Hannah and Fiona introduce the audience to the trials and tribulations of these two characters. From the horrors of missing out on picking up the right marmalading oranges from Waitrose to not managing to book the village hall for the local craft fair due to a distressing faux pas with one’s grammar. Along with Jean and June, we also meet their children and some of the local village folk.
There are many scene changes but the pair never lose us, by expertly bringing us into their world, all without the need of props. Seemingly disconnected sequences gradually resolve into a seamless whole by show’s end. This pair have been a team for so long now that they work effortlessly together and always seem to be having as much fun performing the sketches as the audience does in watching them.
There are a few expletives and a tiny bit of chatting to the audience, but nothing too offensive or threatening. A pleasant afternoon’s entertainment from an engaging and accomplished comic duo.
Double Take is on at Underbelly, Bristo Square until August 26
By Ron Bingham
Hannah Croft and Fiona Pearce, the stars of BBC Radio 4’s The Croft & Pearce Show and Spirit of the Fringe award-winners, present an impressive hour of seemingly unconnected sketches that are gradually drawn together into a single kooky world of weird characters.
Their main recurring characters, Jean and June, are upper middle class conservative villagers suffering from the ruination of their world (mostly due to the existence of Aldi and modern technology). Around them we have an apparently loving couple running a village deli, a pair of Australian tourists (sadly I must admit their stereotype of the boorish Aussie tourist is quite accurate but I will not accept their dodgy accents!), a sex therapist and her class (in which the duo learnt the dangers of trying to embarrass a middle-aged Scottish gentleman in the audience who was much more excited than he should have been), a very disciplined Brownie troupe, a legal office with the daughter of the boss being a little too musical for the team and the breakdown of a relationship.
The duo use no props or costumes (apart from the occasional hat and some cue cards in the finale), and everything is well paced and co-ordinated. With barely a pause between sketches, there were plenty of jokes and comical activity for the full house to enjoy. An hour of fast paced and well thought out comedy from a couple of rising stars in the comedy world. Will sell out (if it hasn’t already).
Croft & Pearce Are Not Themselves is on at Underbelly, George Square until August 28