Giants are Fjörd @ Pleasance Courtyard

Sketch duo Giants explore well-trodden avenues but with great comic success in Giants are Fjörd

Review by Charlie Ralph | 16 Aug 2019
  • Giants @ Pleasance Courtyard

Giants are Fjörd is a prime example of adventurous performers relishing an Edinburgh Fringe crowd that expects an adventure. As the audience are led into the show they murmur with delight at the sight of a keyboard and a slowly rotating glitter ball. These murmurs become rapturous applause when Giants emerge, one clad in all-white and one in all-black, and proceed to perform an hour of offbeat musical comedy with wonky Norwegian accents and out-of-nowhere lyrics like "I miss you babe, yeah, like a dog misses its leg". 

The premise is that Fjörd are a fictional pop R'n'B duo from Norway who, after reaching the pinnacle of their career coming second in Eurovision 2013, continued to trundle along with the egos and dramas of pop stardom without any of the actual success. Giants adorn themselves head-to-toe with stereotypes, from their accents to their monochrome outfits and mangling of British dialect. The riches-to-rags-to-emotional riches story has been told comedically in hundreds of fringe shows, so the narrative largely acts as a pinboard onto which to stick punchlines, which the audience goes along with thanks to Giants’ considerable comedic talents. 

The only issue comes in the stretching of this slim narrative to an hour, as there are elements of the show that evidently aren't part of the Fjörd gimmick, grafted on to these personas to fill out the hour. Nevertheless, Giants Are Fjörd is a triumph of wit and weirdness, pointing out the inherent silliness in masculine posturing and mild cultural appropriation, turning themselves into caricatures of bloated egos gone awry. The show is uniquely Edinburgh, with its reliance on assumed narrative arcs and unexpected punchlines, but that is no bad thing at all when it's as funny as Giants Are Fjörd.

Giants are Fjörd, Pleasance Courtyard (Baby Grand), until 25 Aug, 4.30pm, £8.50-11.50