“It’s old school dad jokey stuff from a couple of guys,” (#inagoodway) is how I described “The Smooth End of the Pineapple” to the friend with whom I was seeing the show. And afterwards, she reported that it was a perfect description of a show that sees its performers deliver comedy sketches in an audio format like an old radio show. Think of the show as a cross between Monty Python and The Goons. And it is with Python-esque trademark madness that Matt Bell and Scot McPhie present for the audience’s listening pleasure, their “eighth debut performance of comedy sketches”.
From this premise, the duo launches into a series of sketches that largely range from the random to the bizarre (#inagoodway). With some amusing use of props, hats and wigs, Matt Bell, in particular, transforms into all range of characters, from workplace pirate to Russian debt-collector and Scottish beautician Jock the Bastard. Indeed, the fact that their portrayal of multiple characters and shift between characters is handled so deftly, despite the need for a few ad libs, is what makes the production that much more impressive.
Like a good mix tape, sketch shows depend on rhythm and while some of sketches labour on a bit too long, there is still much to be enjoyed for those who like their humour with witty word plays, puns and innuendo. Skits range from the identifiably of dealing with voice recognition on the phone to the absurdism of Superman’s home life thanks to a passive aggressive Louis Lane.
It is clear that the duo has an affinity with and empathy for the medium, with the result being a comedy record for when you don’t have a record player. As such, “The Smooth End of the Pineapple” represents the power of parody and greatness of old school gags. It makes for a great comedy romp that is sure to provide a different favourite for everyone in its audience.
This review is based on the reviewer’s experience of the opening night performance on May 7.
You can purchase your tickets to “The Smooth End of the Pineapple” here.