The Double: Review

Relish this rambunctious rabble of ragged rapscallions

ADC ADC theatre Cambridge Comedy Double Tab the tab Theatre

The format of the show was quickly established. Two people would come on, do something for 10-15 minutes, and then leave. This was then repeated with different pairs of people. As a platform for displaying a wide variety of Cambridge’s comedic talent it certainly succeeded, breathlessly hurtling through 6 double acts, but it also left the entire evening feeling a little disjointed. No matter. It was funny.

Leaving little to the imagination, Archie Henderson and Jordan Mitchell skated onto stage with aplomb, rapidly rattling through a few utterly unconnected sketches that left more than one member of the front row cleansing the resulting grape/banana/egg debris from their attire. It was random, it was irreverent, and it also left the stage, imaginatively and brilliantly set to look like a newspaper for the mainshow, in no small amount of disrepair. How inconsiderate. But funny.

Next up were some Germans, Guy Emanuel and Joshan Chana (presented through their alter-egos: Rex and Wolf). A coherent, musical, interactive piece, it ticked many of the boxes left empty by the previous act – namely, coherency, musicality, and interactivity. Their inventive use of a synthesizer definitely merits a mention, as do the inevitable technical complications arising from its use. It was funny.

Sam Grabiner’s and Ellen Robertson’s effort called their predecessor’s attempt at coherency and raised it further, weaving a plot-thread of smoking, rollercoasters, vomit, drinks and bosses into a disturbing, Freudian, symmetrical account of the futility of requited love and the unquenchable determination of stalkers. And it was funny.

Their poster - the show was about as coherent as this, but thankfully it was funny.

Their poster – the show was about as coherent as this, but thankfully it was funny.

Adrian Gray and Theo Wethered sought a different track – the multifaceted one that tries to do lots in little time. A dizzyingly broad array of skills, from quick-fire puns, to physical abuse (culminating in Adrian shoving a prostrate, writing Theo off the front of the stage completely), to musical lip-synching, this was an act that had it all. And it was also funny.

Olivia Le Andersen and Sasha Brooks turned out the best physical comedy of the night for their opening gambit, with each controlling the others’ limbs from afar for various nefarious and sexually indecorous purposes. The bulk of their act was concerned with the Pink Gynaecologist, a gender-blind doctor locating and extracting from audience member Orlando’s vagina a variety of foreign objects. Needless to say, it too was funny.

Finally, the Antarctic gained some representation in the form of Catriona Stirling and Luke Sumner. Pingu and Pingi perpetuated patriarchal predatory principles purposefully, posing predicaments and private puzzles whilst being pursued by pregnancy problems. Of course, it too was funny – the presence of the entire front row on stage in a penguin huddle at the end leant a new dimension to the phrase “audience participation”.

In conclusion, there are funny people in Cambridge, and if you pair one of them up with another funny person, good things happen. If you go through that process 6 times, you have created The Double. And a lot of grapes trampled into the PRAVDA stage.

68% – a triumphant 2:1