Frimston and Rowett

Frimston and Rowett are swell, just swell in JEFF CARPENTER’s book.

ADC Comedy Footlights frimston gameshows gangster Jeff Carpenter moon landing retro rowett Stand Up

ADC, 22nd May, 11pm, 

[rating: 4/5]

What a jolly lovely evening of jolly lovely comedy.  Except for that loud bellowing bastard in the audience.  Seriously. Shut up.  I mean, my laugh is obnoxious but, like, your laugh is even worse.  You know who you are.  I really wanted to kill you – we all did.

But about the show. We’ve been treated recently – spoiled some would say – by such high concept, well-fit sketch shows as The Pin, Pretty Little Panic, Pick Me Up, and Donors. And call me heteronormative, but entirely male sketch shows can often lead to brash one-upmanship, and an evening of desperately vulnerable young men trying to defeat one another with jokes.  How refreshing it was to see a boring set, a bad wardrobe, and two guys who looked like they were doing it for the love, not the pussay.

And it was a really funny show.  Normally bad acting grates on me and detracts from the sketches.  But Frimston and Rowett bellowed and blundered their way through with the hammiest of stock faces and movements and didn’t pretend they were capable of anything else.  It was beautiful.  Rowett in particular had a way of standing and delivering a line which I would like to endearingly christen as the ‘Bemused Professor’.  I don’t think it mattered since they had so much commitment and belief in what they were doing that it just couldn’t help but be enjoyable. Rather than conniving to sculpt the audience into laughter, they were just trying to tell great, funny stories. And we loved them for it.

The style of writing and performing is really out of date now too, but that’s what we loved too. Sketches about the moon landing, gangsters, and gameshows – I mean we’re talking decades out of date – yet somehow every sketch seemed fresh and funny. A few were not to my taste: the gangsters’ names sketch was too long, the sun sketch was too repetitive and ‘random’, the bird sketches were just – not funny to me. Again, though – I don’t think it matters, as there was enough variety that the audience was always on side even if a few sketches let you down just on personal preference.  I spent most the show gurning and slapping my thigh with the best of them.

So to Misters Frimston and Rowett: I wish you all the very best success, for you have put a lovely big smile on my face just when studying the Book of Revelation was looking its bleakest.  (A ton of people die in that book, you know.)  So if you want to put five stars on your Edinburgh poster that’s fine by me.  So is saying “astonishing… the best comedy at the Fringe”.

You look like two lovely guys who are in it for the comedy and not the glory and that’s why we loved it. I vote more of that for Cambridge.