Hear Hear

Thu 12th – Sat 14th February 2015

reviews

Dominic McGough

at 02:44 on 13th Feb 2015

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Hear Hear was advertised as a hectic comedy show in a world controlled by sound, and promised to deliver a different style of comedy to an eager Corpus Playroom. However, while there were moments of brilliance and irresistible one liners, the show was ultimately unsatisfactory, with good acting hindered by an awkward script and forgettable sketches.

The show was centred around a simple sketch format; with a selection of set pieces without preamble or introduction. This lack of baggage allowed the audience to focus on the actors themselves: larger-than-life characters who gave impressive performances in a myriad of roles. In the sketches, the characters were quick to establish themselves and did not disappoint with their portrayals; Rosanna Suppa was impressive in a postman’s brave attempt to deliver a letter, battling an invisible force field before finishing with one of the better punchlines of the evening.

However, a leaning towards farce was not always successful. Some sketches seemed like they were straining to appear childish and over the top, with the comedy ultimately suffering as a result. A sketch in which two Neanderthals discovered milk and eggs was not benefited by a vein of slapstick in which one character attempted to cook a meal, throwing bits of egg on the floor. A large build up and increasing slapstick was let down by a disappointing and forgettable punchline involving poor wordplay, a trait endemic throughout the show, as poor writing let down a talented cast.

The majority of the sketches seemed stilted, as the audience waited for a punchline that sometimes never came, and was often underwhelming. The frenetic manner in which the play moved forward was also ineffective, as awkward pauses broke the rhythm of the show.

A stand out performance was given Zak Ghazi-Torbati, whose roles varied from a gay leprechaun to an unhappy husband. His delivery was close to perfect, and his stage presence lifted sketches and had the audience hanging off his every word. His monologue as an attendant for Darwin Airlines was the highlight of the show.

Overall, the show was a disappointment, despite a strong and confident cast. The material did not allow the performers to do themselves justice, and an over-reliance on slapstick and poor pacing meant that the audience was left wanting more.

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