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Review: Josh Widdicombe and Danny McLoughlin, The Basement, City Screen, York
An Edinburgh preview can be an irksome evening; still developing material, comedians constantly interrupt the show to consult notes, seek feedback and apologise for just how ropey the gig is becoming.
It cannot help to have an obnoxious front row and occasionally unhelpful audience generally but both Josh Widdicombe and Danny McLoughlin’s shows are clearly still in the early stages.
Widdicombe’s hour focuses simply on incidents in his life, all told with that linguistic pedantry prevalent in so much comedy today. With charm and a gentle, almost bored, cadence, he persistently complains about anything from pub toilets to house parties. A routine on board games is particularly strong; a highlight among some unmemorable jokes.
McLoughlin’s theme is lies; commenting on how many comics blend truth and fabrication in their anecdotes. He looked more comfortable and affably performed mostly without notes. The show lost its way when he returned to the theme, McLoughlin is unsure if he wants to achieve anything subversive with the idea or not, but gags about anger-management classes and Pinocchio exhibited his talent for delivering laughs beyond the initial punch-line.
Their shows will undoubtedly improve, but more risks away from hackneyed subjects are needed to prevent their Edinburgh shows becoming anything more than ephemeral.
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