Five thoughts about...Thunderbards
Andrew Mickel10 August 2013
The strapping sketch duo's debut show...
We first saw Thunderbards back at Sketchfest in May and - although they narrowly lost out as winners - they provided what was, in our opinion, the best hour. The show is near-enough identical here, with the likeable Glenn Moore and Matt Stevens providing tightly-framed sketches (there’s a nifty book device that keeps things moving along with zip) that play on your expectations of sketch comedy without tipping over into being exhausting.
We’ve already noted how we’ve seen lots of current sketch groups struggle to work out how to frame their idiot properly. It’s tightly done here with Stevens on the occasional dunce duties: a running theme on a misfiring sketch never outstays its welcome, and a late slot on a man who’s a big fan of Joey lets him be effectively daft. The temptation to throw everything at his idiot status is resisted to make him a lovable dolt. Much like Joey, come to think about it.
Actually, Stevens mines a good seam of idiocy and being aghast throughout different scenes - The Sound of Music songbook sketch is an enormously fun piece of work, while Moore’s runthrough of all the discounts at a religious superstore shows their writing at full power.
There’s also a fair few jokes about the trappings of sketch comedy - declaring actions as mimes, rotary-dial mobile phones and the like - although the best joke at Sketchfest on the racial mix of the audience seems to have unfortunately landed on the cutting room floor.
Still, this is super-competent stuff, and amid a glut of sketch troupes about at the moment, this is one that’s worth watching out for. Sketch of the show is the Hampton Court Palace interactive museum - as the boys let us know, they’re essential to any child’s education these days - and it nicely sums up their style. Quietly unexpected; spectacularly written and tight enough not to outstay its welcome; and full of clearly-motivated characters who draw you in to their world.
Your rating: None
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