This award-winning double act return for their third year after sell-out shows in 2010/11, but I’m just not sure if the old adage ‘third time lucky’ completely plays out for them this year. This duo is undoubtedly entertaining, but the show has a mixture of moments of genius and moments of awkwardness interlaced together to bring an almost-hour of almost-four star comedy.
That being said, the two men have a chemistry and charisma on the stage together that endears them to the audience within moments as they launch in with their first song of the show professing their gratitude to those who have chosen to come along to see their show despite the better ones out there and despite the fact their venue is much like a bunker!
The act is clever and witty and works well with McNeil being the straight-laced and uptight antidote to Pamphilon’s ‘thicker than yoghurt’, carefree character. Some of their sketches, such as the simple but brilliantly constructed suicide skit, cannot fail to have the audience in fits of laughter. However, the mock depressive vibe underpinning the show and forming the foundation of their songs such as ‘Why are we here?’ can be either wonderful or a little tedious, depending on your patience for repetition.
The ‘machine’ created by the application of two Poundland colanders is a brilliant contraption, although if you came along to see sketch comedy, there is in fact more of the show preoccupied with the character ‘swap’ or mix-up than the sketches themselves.
But we must remember that these are the men that reached the finals of the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year Awards in 2011 and they do continue to deliver their own smart and distinctive brand of comedy which certainly makes for another interesting and enjoyable show at the Edinburgh Fringe.
McNeil and Pamphilon
Until 27 August, 16:30
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