“The Clones” are Lloydie James Lloyd and Liam Webber. They take an audience suggestion and weave a whole play around it, totally improvised and on the spot.
With no set (except two chairs) and no idea of what the audience are going to suggest, this is the stuff of nightmares as far as I’m concerned, and I do think you must have to be some kind of masochist to want to perform improvised theatre.
Tonight’s audience suggestion for the location was the International Space Station. I had assumed there would be other requested suggestions as to a vague storyline, characters etc but it was just the location.
It took a little while to get going and there were a few long(ish) stretches of silence to start with, and I felt they struggled initially to get it off the ground. However, the personalities of the characters soon became quickly defined with Lloyd’s character being an apologetic divorcé doing research into a cure for psoriasis (“the world will be a smoother place”) and Webber’s character being a sarcastic and arrogant sustainable farming boffin.
I did wonder at several points where it was heading and how they would manage to keep it going for the allotted time: for me it could have been about fifteen minutes shorter as some parts felt as if they were dragging and not really going anywhere. That said, there was some good comedy in there and they are both very likable. I enjoyed Lloyd’s character who made me laugh, cringe and also feel sorry for him and I laughed at loud at:
“not so good when the space shoe is on the other space foot is it?”
“It’s called a MOON BOOT!”
There were several recurring themes which they did well to remember which were funny. There were also some quite poignant moments when Lloyd’s character was Facetiming his son.
Calling tonight’s performance a ‘play’ is stretching it a bit but there were some enjoyable and funny moments and the characters were humorous and certainly unique, probably never to be seen again. I liked the fact that at times, each of them deliberately tried to trip the other one up (in conversation, not physically!) but they each ran with it and it was enjoyable to watch.
There’s no doubt that they are extremely talented, and I take my hat off to anyone who can do what they do. Playing online until 20th August, tickets can be found at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/clones
Reviewer: Nicky Lambert
Reviewed: 16th August 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★