Siblings @ Underbelly George Square

Hopelessly self-indulgent and repetitive sketch show from Siblings

Review by Polly Glynn | 08 Aug 2018
  • Siblings

In Acting Out, real-life sisters Marina and Maddy Bye prove that there’s nothing quite like good-old sibling rivalry. Squabbling over who should be in which part and forever competing both in and out of character, the girls present a world of personalities ranging from grotesque posh mums to inappropriate school teachers (complete with poorly adhered moustaches).

There’s a mysterious lack of punchlines here. Instead they’re replaced by gurning and expensive training (Guildhall and Gaulier respectively). The sketches are flabby and self-indulgent. They say write what you know, and in this case it means a sense of entitlement felt only by middle-class Londoners. Shamefully, not all audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe match this demographic.

There are some scant redeeming features. The commitment to making monstrous faces reflect monstrous humans should be commended and the Tallahassee Salesmen sketch has real potential until it turns unnecessarily dark. The audience interaction could have been fun too, but only if the unlucky participant was willing. Dragging the same chap onstage several times was painful to watch, even if it was essential for the contrived ending.

Sketch comedy has a bad reputation for enabling over-actors with little writing ability to produce a show. It’s shows like this which reinforce the largely unfair reputation.


Siblings: Acting Out, Underbelly George Square (The Wee Coo), 1-27 Aug (not 14), 6.40pm, £6.50-10

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