Saturday, October 1

Bareback: Horseplay – Underbelly, Cowgate

PBJ’s ‘Bareback: Horseplay” was a torrent and a torment of absurdity lacking any semblance of grounding or substance which would facilitate such an outlandish production, resulting in an unmelodic raucous of a sketch show and wasting the extraordinary talent of the actors involved.

The premise itself is turbulent: sketch comedy show bouncing from social satire to philosophical inanity, resulting in an audience exhaustingly attempting to keep up with a fast moving, unexplained (unexplainable?) parade of celebrity caricatures, genitalia, aged talk show hosts, homosexual Irish children and slam poetry.

The duo were dressed in nude bodysuits which did facilitate fast movements from one character to the next, impressively taking on the roles. The actors’ ranges of accents and characters did allow for somewhat easy transitions but was totally subverted by the seaming illogic of why those characters were brought on in the first place as, in the audience, it did not seem to be for comedy. In spite of the actors’ cosmic ability, the jokes were falling flat or were not perceived to be jokes in the first place, resulting in a silent theatre and a comment from one actor that there was a “sleepy silence” in the place.

However, at the end of this non-charming and exhaustive production, there was a moment of sincerity and humour when the pair took their costumes off, opened a can of coke and spoke candidly with the audience about themselves and their upbringings. Whilst this sincerity did seem incongruous to the smorgasbord of psychosis that we had just been privy too, their natural and nonchalant ability for comedy was shown.

Truly a show that was wasted on two such electric and talented people.

Playing until the 28th August, https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/horseplay-bareback

Reviewer: Natalie Lewis

Reviewed: 18th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★

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