Local duo Anyone For Tennis? are set to split at the conclusion of this Comedy Festival season. Unfortunately, their show Comedy. Music. Etc. doesn't quite make the grade, falling short of the finale they'd have hoped for.
The show struggles to recover from a series of poor first impressions. An unnatural tension immediately brews between the pair and their audience, a stilted beginning really hurting the entire affair. It's odd, given Andrew Doodson and Jason English-Rees are seen to possess a multitude of means through which to captivate the crowd, from their natural comic ability, to their instruments, to props and media. They seem content to downplay their craft though and you can't help but wonder how much energy and enthusiasm they store in reserve.
Occasionally the duo let loose, particularly in the execution of their songs. In fact, their music tends to hit the mark more than any other aspect of their shows, especially in a comedic sense. Most of the time, though, Comedy. Music. Etc. falls flat. An especially irritating occurrence is the pair's tendency to deliberate upon what they initially had planned for the show - a series of grand plans ultimately quashed by the Town Hall. By the end of the show, you realise it's all meant as a device. During the show, though, you're not equipped with any such knowledge and you really wish they'd just get on with things.
A saccharine, moralistic conclusion ensures the audience leaves the show on a high, though it's a rare highlight in a show where not everything attempted actually works. Given that Comedy. Music. Etc. is their last show, fans should really make an effort to check Anyone For Tennis? out, though others can comfortably give this one a miss.