Time travel, advertising, and tear-away trousers.
Time travel, advertising, and tear-away trousers. These are just a few of the things going on in the Thunderbards’ not-quite-a-sketch-show at the Edinburgh Fringe this year.
Glenn Moore and Matthew Stevens won widespread praise for their show at last year’s Fringe, but now they’ve returned with something of a surrealist twist on the traditional formula – and they’re all the better for it.
A charismatic duo
There’s always a sense of trepidation when an audience sits down to watch something that’s meant to be funny, and if they don’t laugh right away, the chances are it’s just going to get uncomfortably tense. Luckily for Moore and Stevens though, the combined charm of a “less attractive Robert Pattinson” and a “young Louis Theroux” makes them eminently watchable.
Melding the absurd with the everyday, and with sketches peppered with clever wordplay and endearing self-deprecation, this duo are a sheer delight to watch.
Getting down to it
The show revolves around the idea that the Thunderbards are in possession of a pair of “time watches.” These deceptively normal-looking devices can transport the pair back in time to their increasingly bizarre relatives, in an attempt to decipher just why Glenn is quite so terrible at dating.
Confused? You won’t be once you start watching. Moore and Stevens have a rare talent for turning the ridiculous into the sublime, and within the first few minutes the audience is inevitably swept up in the insanity.
Every sketch is enjoyable in a different way, but there are a handful which gain pace to the point where the audience is simply doubled over with enjoyment.
The prospective home buyer who has quite literally taken ‘round the houses’ on an audio tour, by an increasingly ridiculous voiceover artist, is a clear high point in the act. So too is a deliciously funny library sketch, featuring an over-zealous librarian and a man apparently incapable of being quiet.
Alongside the sharp one-liners and clever wordplay that forms the backbone of the Thunderbards’ act, they are also no strangers to the visual gag. Their strength is that they don’t overdo the physical comedy, so that when something as bizarre as an escapade with a pair of tearaway trousers finally happens, the crowd laughs not simply because it’s funny, but also because it’s unexpected.
Dry wit, a subversion of the expected punchline, and a small degree of audience participation is relied upon by the duo. But this tried-and-tested formula is one that keeps the audience attentive and relaxed throughout the sixty minute show, and this is no mean feat for a double-act who, more often than not, are introducing themselves to their audience for the first time.
Thunderbards may be a relatively new act at the Edinburgh Fringe, but they can already comfortably compete with some of the more established comedians in terms of the sheer enjoyment had by their audience.
Riotously silly, wonderfully clever, and almost indecently enjoyable, Seconds is a hidden gem in the Fringe programme this year, and it ought not to be missed by anyone who wants their day brightened, and their time in Edinburgh to have been worthwhile.
Thunderbards: Seconds is performed from August 2nd – 24th, at 16:45 (1 hour) in the Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
What do you think of the show? Have your say in the comments section below.