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Review of A Night in With TiTs and Bosh and Babbs

Tits and Bosh and BabbsFollowing on from their sell out show at The Hen and Chickens in December, sketch duos TiTs and Bosh and Babbs returned for two nights of new material at The New Wimbledon Studio as part of the Illuminate Festival. The vast array of characters that each duo brought to the audience certainly made me feel that we were embarking on a night out, being introduced to lots of absurd personas, whilst remaining in the comfort of the same seat for the same evening – opting for a night in with guaranteed laughs instead.

The comedic duos alternated their sketches, meaning TiTs were up first. The first sketch was entitled ‘Introverts Anonymous’ and it played exactly how you think it would. Two awkward, shy adults meet in the same format as Alcoholics Anonymous; discuss aspects of their introverted nature and progress through the meeting. From their first sketch, it was clear that TiTs had a firm root in character based sketches and energised characters. Their next sketch, ‘iPhone Alert’, had the premise of a training police call handler on his induction day. When the first call came in, reporting a stolen iPhone, the trainee (Liam Nooney) told the person to contact the non-emergency number to report this theft, with the instructor (Holly Creed) being dumbfounded to the trainee’s lack of gravitas for the situation. Poking fun at our generation’s obsession with social media and technology, the circumstances of the sketch heightened the comedy, highlighting the ridiculousness some people produce when they are separated with their phones. Their third sketch, ‘Latter Day Saints & Superheroes’ explored a young man’s newfound religion, the belief in Superman and other cartoon characters as Gods to worship to. This sketch showcased Nooney’s camp theatricality at its finest, with Creed playing the perfect opposite to Nooney’s eccentric, excitable teenager. The last sketch, ‘FerraBella – The Magic Fairy’, explored the dark side of children’s television. Nooney played your archetypal children’s television presenter, full of love and life, until Creed entered as a drunken and aggressive fairy. The juxtaposition of characters made this scene truly memorable, epitomising dark humour.

In between each of TiTs’ sketches, Bosh and Babbs shared with us four of their latest sketches. Their first sketch, ‘Cooking With Ann & Judith’, was just a taste of things to come from Bosh and Babbs (who have recently been nominated for Best New Act at this year’s London SketchFest). Mocking television cookery shows, the two characters presented were incredibly bizarre and absurd. The scenario of each sketch was clearly important for context, but the outrageous characters were the crux of each sketch. Both characters were middle class women, and this just added to the hilarity of the sketch. The physicality of these characters struck me the most, the slightest movement of the eyes was noticed by the audience, erupting with laughter at the sudden change of facial expression.

The next sketch, ‘The Driving Instructor’, displayed a driving lesson between a Russian girl and her grandmother. This sketch was clearly rooted in realism, but the characterisation took the scene to a completely different level. The heightened accents and observational traits of Russian brought these characters to life. The third sketch, ‘Take It Or Leave It Auditions’, showed the audience a glimpse of what auditions for popular shows like ‘Take Me Out’ may look like. All four auditionees struck a chord with the audience, most probably as people we know within our social groups or a recognisable stereotype that you would expect to see at these auditions. The observational element needed for this scene to work was spot on, being fleshed out with additional mannerisms. Their last sketch, ‘The Adventures of Jade & Gemma’, followed two teenage girls waiting for their idol Rihanna at their local hairdressers. Another completely different set of extreme and bizarre characters made this sketch as revitalising as their first.

Both TiTs and Bosh and Babbs brought their respective comedic characteristics to the audience from their first sketches and this energy and focus didn’t cease until both duos took their curtain call at the end of the show. TiTs had the perfect blend of day to day observations heightened to caricature level mixed with dark humour, whereas Bosh and Babbs had a stronger focus on bringing peculiar and extreme characters to the audience, being completely exaggerated versions of reality. Both duos raised the question if you have a successful formula, should you try something different? However, the energy both duos sustained was truly remarkable, making the laughter infectious in the auditorium. If the rest of Illuminate Festival contains shows as strong as this, I would highly recommend you get yourself down to The New Wimbledon Studio as you won’t want to miss out.

Three and a half gold stars

Review by Peter Hardingham

A Night in With TiTs and Bosh and Babbs
2nd & 3rd April 7:45pm

Saturday 4th April 2015

Author

  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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