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Bob and Jim - Modern Urges
Published on Monday, 22 August 2011

4 stars

Underbelly, Cowgate (venue website)
4-28 Aug, 10:10pm-11:10pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

Bob and Jim are Malmesford’s best-loved old-school double-act, and are here peddling that sometimes dubious Fringe beast, modern variety. You know the sort of thing: music hall oomphah-phah noises and swearing; not quite as unique as it thinks it is. Let’s be blunt, you need to be in the mood for this stuff... but it turns out I was in the mood. I laughed like a loon.

Yes, it’s Lady Gaga standards played on the ukulele and reworked to be about pork pies, it’s fake game shows full of double ententres, and it’s a lot of dancing up and down stage while doing jazz hands. But these pair are just so charming, taking themselves just seriously enough to get away with stuff this silly.

There’s the odd misstep, mainly in the form of songs that go on too long, but these moments are far outweighed by the delightful ones. The hour whizzed by, aided greatly by the much-anticipated appearance of Bob and Jim’s nemeses – the evil double act. And their finale, 'Bob and Jim on Ice' was pitch-perfect and even a little moving.

Comparisons to Morecambe and Wise will be flying, and wouldn't be wholly unwarranted.  This offbeat duo's updated take on vaudeville is a delight. 

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