REVIEW: An Evening With Cock and Fanny (Hen and Chickens Theatre) ★★
August 4, 2016  //  By:   //  Fringe, Reviews  //  Comments are off

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An Evening With Cock and Fanny sees Matthew ‘THE COCK’ Howell and Lauren ‘THE FANNY’ Taylor, a new comedy duo, giving us approximately 40 minutes of sketch comedy.

I should start by saying that I am an avid supporter of Fringe theatre, its goals and the opportunities it provides for performers and producers alike. Howell and Taylor both have a knack for comedy with timing, delivery and a grasp of how to ‘work’ an audience.

I had high hopes for this new male and female duo, a rare comedy combination, but must confess was left a little confused come the end of the evening. Preparing to watch the performance and in the press invitation I had learned that the duo met as ‘bickering housemates’ who wanted ‘the world to share our pain and that comedy was the best way to do this’.

This in mind I was expecting a tongue-in-cheek reflection of modern day suburban life, situational and observational humor through sketches, a fresher and invigorated sort of ‘Little Britain’ if you like.

I found the performance to be quite erratic and some of the content quite bizarre. The content explored everything from a gay closeted, negligee wearing Jesus who enters to Britney Spears through to a Sainsbury’s check out and a vegetarian/vegan sketch with a few mentions of Brexit thrown in.

You can see that the pair have a great on-stage chemistry and rapport and come across as extremely likeable people when there own personalities show through. Taylor also has a fantastic ear for accents and this is something that should be explored to enhance the show.

There were a few extremely funny moments throughout the production and there are real opportunities for development within the piece itself. I think the strongest comedy comes when artists draw on their own experiences or observations. This may be an idea for the comedy duo as they clearly have skills in the comedy field and drawing from personal situations and scenarios may make the material slightly more accessible to a wider audience.

Although this show didn’t completely win me over I appreciate that this is Howell and Taylor’s first creative collaboration and I admire their bravery and courage for creating something original, that is after all what Fringe theatre is all about.

Reviewed by Matthew Wren