Toulson and Harvey @ Pleasance Courtyard

obvious zeal, but struggling to take flight

Review by Dave Kerr | 14 Aug 2006

Was it a lack of props? The dubious mockney Texan accents perhaps? Despite their obvious zeal, for whatever reason, Luke Toulson & Stephen Harvey's most recent set delivers a blend of comedy that awkwardly struggles to take flight. They raise chuckles when the acoustic guitar comes out and try a lament over a fallen soldier on for size, but other than this the engine splutters.

Of course, there's political satire at play here too, as skits are woven together by a story involving botched post-Cold War space exploration voyages. With definite skills on display, this duo's apparent struggle is that they lack the prerequisite focus to come off as anything more daring than a ramshackle retrospective-to-present-day mockery of foreign policy and Reagan through Dubya America that has already been beaten into the ground since such fascisms were, well, less obvious.

Sans 'a new spin', with such a 'stand and deliver, you're funny or you're shite' mentality, the wicked, often knee-jerk criticism from the public gallery unfortunately never really allows for any in between. Nevertheless, give these lads the right direction (or a lesson in Texan elocution) and good things may well follow.

(Dave Kerr)

Toulson and Harvey, Pleasance Courtyard, until August 28 (not 15), 17:45, £9.50/£8.50 (£8/£7).