Nott’s Comedy Festival – The Two Syds

The next acts to appear in the Blundbus after Jason Neale were Ian Hall and Bruce Edhouse as the 2 Syds. There aren’t many double acts on the circuit and these two have a very nice chemistry between them. They began with a nice jolly song, including actions. It was then that the first snag of the venue became apparent. Hall was too tall for the bus and had a choice between performing sat down or hunched. Not a major hitch, but it can’t be easy to perform when you are expecting to bang your head every two minutes. The theme of the show was double acts, with acts of the late 70’s and early 80’s being concentrated on. This eliminated Jewel and Warriss at one end and Reeves and Mortimer at the other. Strangely, Morecambe and Wise were not mentioned, but instead The Two Ronnies, Cannon and Ball and Little and Large featured largely, with a very accurate portrayal of Syd Little’s range. The likely attraction of this choice to anyone under the age of 40 was referenced by Hall and Edhouse, but it still strikes as an unusual selection. It did allow for Edhouse to show his talents in a Two Ronnies inspired game of Mastermind and a lovely call back to Syd Little at the conclusion of the show.
Edhouse and Hall hail from Leicester, which has a fine tradition for alternative comedy and this has influenced their work. Some sections were conventional double act territory, with them doing routines and working off each other. I enjoyed this, as it allowed their chemistry to function and the material was good. However, I wasn’t so convinced about their more alternative forays. At one point they had a member of the audience delivering Hall’s lines and then another delivering Edhouse’s. They were unlucky in the first chap being slow on the uptake and butchering the section, but in my view this is a stunt that is a real hostage to fortune. The main purpose of it was to give them a chance to get into costumes whilst the audience were distracted. Hall does some wonderful character pieces and this really brings out the playfulness in him. The costumes were Dr Who related and this led to some enjoyable scenes. However, when they went back to the more traditional double act, they went into a higher gear. The first reveal on the tarot card section was particularly good.
Although I feel they have a lot more potential as a conventional double act and are far stronger in this role, the audience laughed and enjoyed the more avant garde sections and their show was well received.

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