|The Blanks' Big Break|
|Published on Thursday, 23 August 2012|
If comedy at the Fringe is populated primarily by twenty-somethings with wispy beards, then comedy music at the Fringe is populated primarily by twenty-somethings with wispy beards and acoustic guitars. Fortunately, the Blanks are a very welcome differentiation from this notion, with four middle-aged men singing a capella, and clearly loving every minute of it. Happily, you will too.
The chances are, given that you are reading this review, you’re aware that The Blanks got their Big Break in the hospital-based US comedy series, Scrubs. But if you’re not up on the happenings of J.D. and Dr Cox, you needn’t worry, as the show only ever references Scrubs once (for fans of the show, they do so hilariously). The format is fairly familiar, consisting of short skits in between musical numbers, with the premise being that they are out to impress an agent who could get them to play in space. The opening sketch is well done and sets out the direction for the show – although the initial song is perhaps a little reliant on American references, which may go over some observers’ heads.
From thereon in, however, the show is unrelentingly excellent. The band are all technically accomplished singers, and work superbly together, meaning the music is genuinely impressive as well as entertaining. In addition, it’s rare to see performers ever having so much fun on stage, with the four guys singing every song wearing a look of barley suppressed glee on their faces. The song choices reflect this, be they medleys or 80’s sing-along classics; each one will force you to become a great deal happier and the show is better for it.
Even a long tale of the saddest day in their life is funny all the way through, building to a slightly surreal climax. The few faults I could pick out would be trivial things, such as the previously-mentioned US-centric references, and there could perhaps be more crowd interaction. But none of this detracts in the least from what is an excellent performance.
The show is funny, charming and just great fun. There’s no swearing, no edginess, no fakery, just four guys having the time of their lives singing their hearts out and inviting you along for the ride.
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These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012. We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.