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Strong and Wrong get Funked Up - Free
Published on Thursday, 25 August 2011
2

2 stars

Laughing Horse @ City Cafe (venue website)
Comedy
4-14, 16-28 Aug, 10:30pm-11:20pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

 Recommended for age 18+ only. Venue may not permit under-18's - check with venue before booking.

Mixing character and sketch comedy with live music, Strong and Wrong Get Funked Up follows slap bassist Phil Fretmore on his quest to save the office party – and funk as we know it.

The Strong and Wrong duo are Anna-Maria Nabirye and Daniel Carter-Hope, with Nabirye playing most of the characters, and Carter-Hope most of the instruments. The plot is unashamedly daft, and a little too weak to really hold the audience’s attention. The characters are simple, primarily denoted with different hats and various accents – some being mastered better than others. There are a couple of successful moments, but the characterisation isn’t quite there yet.

The music is a combination of reworked funk classics, with a few originals thrown in. There are some gently amusing lyrics performed with enthusiasm, which break up the story; but considering that funk is at the core of the premise, there is room for some more musical moments.

The pair certainly have chemistry, and interacted confidently with the audience throughout. Quickly setting up the convention of stepping out of character to comment on the action, the props and each other’s acting, the duo made this a feature of the performance. They are natural improvisers, and these moments were some of the most successful. Unfortunately, the slightly shambolic nature of the show gave them a few too many opportunities.

This isn’t a show that takes itself seriously, but at points it felt like there wasn’t enough material to fill the hour. Strong and Wrong Get Funked Up is an enthusiastically performed hour of silliness – which unfortunately doesn’t achieve quite enough laughs.

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