Sunday, 24 August 2008

Gavin and Gavin: An Acquired Taste

'Gavin and Gavin'
Edinburgh Fringe 2008

Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the home of comedians big and small alike, the hard decision is always how to decide which show to see. The choice to see 'Gavin and Gavin' was based on favourable reviews by reputable newspaper The Times. I would like to meet their reviewer, as they must certainly be a unique sort of person.

Performing in the downstairs Sportsmans Bar in the Gilded Balloon meant the sisters Sharon and Loretta Gavin were faced with a small venue, and at this particular showing the audience was less than half full. I can appreciate that a hard audience can make or break a comedian or two, but I refuse to believe that the audience were anything other than usual.

The interesting 'style' of comedy employed by the Gavin sisters is most definately an acquired taste. Smaller, younger, unmarried Gavin was the easier of the two, as she mainly narrated the blatantly pre-conceived and pre-written script. Skinny, married Gavin was verging on painful to watch and listen to. The main gist of the comedy was crude. Very crude. Crude in a tasteless, excrutiatingly embarassing sort of way. Crude in a way that makes Very Rude feel embarassed. Crude in the kind of way I can imagine even a football or rugby team wouldnt enjoy unless they were tanked to the eyeballs.

Dont get me wrong, there were some enjoyable parts of the show. Like when Married Gavin was particularly bitter about the lack of audience enthusiasm and was making fun of them. Otherwise, the story was vaguely well conceived - something about growing up in an Irish family in London, filled with annecdotes about Irish family life. Perhaps this might have been a little funnier if it hadnt been for the fact that my companion, irish born and bred, punctured the whole scenario by remarking to me that most irish families were infact, nothing like that any more. Perhaps it was before my time.

If you are in Edinburgh and particularly fancy a sister act of comedy, then I suppose Gavin and Gavin might be your only choice. Alternatively, if you are a very drunk, loud and loutish sports team of some form, please do pay rather a lot to see it and let me know if you enjoy the vulgar humour. Anyone else, I recommend steering clear.

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