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Totally Tom
Published on Thursday, 11 August 2011

4 stars

Underbelly, Cowgate (venue website)
4-14, 16-28 Aug, 3:45pm-4:45pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

Totally Tom are two posh guys called Tom (in my head almost all posh guys are called Tom), and they peddle a rather nice brand of sketch comedy. Not only are their sketches original and interesting, they have punchlines. All of them. Real punchlines.

From a high energy opener about holiday reps, one of whom has a sinister and all-too believable dark side, via a journey into a grimy provincial strip club that packs a punch of surprising verisimilitude, to a clever Shakespearian finale; the duo deliver an almost full hour of mark-hitting sketches. Both Toms show admirable versatility and physicality, as the status and relationships between the two varied wildly from sketch to sketch.

It’s very well done. In fact, so slick and well crafted is the show that it almost feels like you are already watching the TV version.

The question is whether this is original enough to stand out in the torrent of Edinburgh sketch shows. It’s good stuff, but there is a lot of sketch comedy around, and a lot of it is very good. Though talented and with a raft of excellently structured, nicely performed sketches, Totally Tom don’t have much of gimmick, unless you count their Two Ronnies homage of both having the same first name. But with stuff this professional and TV-ready, should they really need one?

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