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ED FRINGE REVIEW Giants

★★★★


Sketch comedy isn't something you see much of on television anymore, but up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it's alive and well.


This year, Will Hislop and Barney Fishwick are stepping out of the Oxford Revue (they were both Presidents and performed at last year's Fringe) for their debut Fringe show as Giants.


Born two days apart and friends ever since, it’s taken them just over twenty-two years to put their first show together. It's their friendship and years performing at the Fringe prior to Giants which ensures that their debut hour is a smooth well rehearsed affair. Unlike most debut shows.

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They reference their friendship several times throughout the show and often build it into their sketches.


They display various photographs of themselves as kids on a big screen, reveal their secret handshake and one of the best sketches of the hour involved the way in which they make up after an argument... they dance.


That's right. They argue, Adele plays, they dance. It really is that simple. And if you think these are daft little dances, you'd be wrong. Let's just say these routines wouldn't look out of place on Strictly Come Dancing.


One of the things I'm learning at the Fringe this year is that a song goes a long way and Giants may have just edged it for best song of the Fringe with their future Eurovision Song Contest entry for Norway.


Aside from that song and the dancing, there were some very well written sketches including a news reporter and newsreader on a time delay, a run-through of a play which Will has made some changes too and a very funny police interrogation scene.


As with most double-acts, you will often be drawn to one over the other and in the case of Giants I found myself drawn mostly to Will throughout. It's not just the striking resemblance between him and his father (Have I Got News For You legend Ian Hislop) which makes him the more appealing of the two.


He's a tad sharper than Barney and give excellent facial expressions, making for a really engaging performance. Whilst Barney's laughs from the audience come mainly through dialogue, Will is able to draw a laugh from a mere glance.


That's not to take anything away from Barney, there's a great sketch where he has to balance a mug on the top of his head and for that alone, I have to applaud him.


Giants have managed a solid debut which showed huge potential and together, Will and Barney make a great double-act.


Friends for over twenty two years , their chemistry is authentic, their material well scripted and their comedy timing impeccable.


This of course is only the start of their journey and I'm excited to see their next few Fringe shows and the opportunities which might follow, as this is a duo who deserve success.


Giants will be on at the Pleasance Courtyard until Sunday 28th August at 3:15pm

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