The Grandees: The Wrong Side Of The Door

Review by Bernard O'Leary | 14 Aug 2013
  • The Grandees

Consisting of three 20-minute sketches, The Wrong Side Of The Door sees The Grandees visit the deep south, discuss employment law as applied to fairies and enact a surreal beachside horror movie, with a bit of male burlesque in between. It sounds good on paper, a show with a lot of comic potential. But The Grandees seem to have gotten that far in developing the show and then decided to knock off early.

The problem in all three sketches is a serious dearth of jokes. They do get some laughs from the audience, but this usually comes from corpsing, winking and inappropriate swearing, the kind of stuff that third-rate improv troupes desperately fall back on when an idea isn't working. It's lousy in improv, it's unforgivable in a show this overwritten and statically performed. 

It is done with conviction and energy and all three of the Grandees have a pretty impressive presence, but nobody seems to have stopped and asked if any of it is actually funny. Even worse, nobody seems to have asked if it's actually interesting – which it isn't – and you get the feeling that this is a show performed entirely for their own benefit. The show title isn't explained in the sketches, although you do wonder if being in this room means that you are, indeed, on the wrong side of the door.

The Grandees: The Wrong Side Of The Door, Underbelly, 1-25 Aug, 10.30pm, £10 (£9)