Tues Night at Social Club @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
This spoof Working Men’s Club show packs in the punchlines, but is over-reliant on puerile gags
The creation of Your Dad's Mum – 2018 Chortle Student Comedy Award winner Bexie Archer, and stand-up Kevin Dewsbury – Tues Night @ Social Club is an hour brimming with potential.
Its trad concept is refreshed by the pairing of tired, jaded Pat Bashford (Dewsbury) with bright-eyed wokester Cheri-Anne (Archer), and the duo can certainly craft a good gag. Cheri-Anne’s initial dimwittedness gives way to something much cleverer, whilst Bashford’s one-liners never afford a groan. If anything, Tues Night is crying out for more from Cheri-Anne. More of her quiet asides, more of her cutthroat punchlines, and more strength to overthrow Bashford.
Archer steals the show on several occasions when onstage alone whilst Dewsbury’s character dawdles into another set-piece. Pleasingly the woke thread isn’t overegged but there’s certainly room for more withering putdowns to make Bashford change for good.
Understandably, it remains a work-in-progress. It feels disjointed and incomplete in places. Ideas are hastily swept aside (such as Pat’s many catchphrases), questions are left unanswered (just why does Cheri-Anne hate her Christmas dance so much?) and Pat Bashford’s redemption arc feels undeserved. The mid-show climax is so infantile and scatological, it may signal the last straw for some if they weren’t previously on board. And the Ronan Keating/Greatest Showman mashup flies completely over the audience’s heads.
There’s also something incongruous in Tues Night’s production values. As a pastiche of something famously without production values, it seems a little too slick with professional lighting and sound and would seem better-suited to a lo-fi, handmade aesthetic.
In amongst it all, there’s a smarter and sillier show fighting to get out. When Your Dad’s Mum work it out, we’ll all be winners.
Your Dad's Mum: Tues Night @ Social Club, Gilded Balloon Teviot; run ended. Reviewed 21 Aug.