Radio Broadcast, Dog Urethras, Jesus Christ, Bob’s Pizzeria Morningside, Ludwig Wittgenstein and the NATO summit. What do all of these things have in common? Usually nothing, well you hope usually nothing, but with the 8th debut performance of comedy duos The Smooth End of the Pineapple (Matt Bell and Scot McPhie’s) show The Smooth End of the Pineapple at the Lock ‘n’ Load Bistro last night. They all made an appearance in one way or another inside the intimate setting of the pub’s function room.
This quaint little room decorated with an assortment of photographs, unusual wallpapers and intricately designed ceiling fans seemed like a strange place to stage such an ambitious collection of sketches. That coupled with the show opening later than scheduled I feared that it would foreshadow what I was about to observe. Pleasantly enough as the show proceeded, my fears were dispelled and replaced with surprise, of the positive variety.
My two motives for reviewing this show were its catchy name and the fact that it drew inspiration from comedy geniuses Monty Python. The thing that most impressed me about The Smooth End of the Pineapple, was how intellectual and comedic the scripts was, with its multiple settings and array of absurd characters. It walked an extremely fine line between comedy gold and distastefulness, straying in both fields throughout. Fortunately however mostly staying within the parameters of the former, while the satire presented in these sketches was both refreshing and innovative.
Now I will admit some moments were lacklustre, and the structure lacked continuity, unlike its title, bell dings jaggedly transitioned sketch from sketch. Scripts in hand gave the air of unprofessionalism and the execution and endings of a few of the sketches were quite anti-climactic, however I found that what usually followed redeemed the past disappointments.
The most entertaining aspect of the show for me was the myriad of accents Matt Bell was able to conjure up and sustain. That coupled with moments of long winded explanation (very Python esque) and un-necessary repetition was quite enjoyable. Props were used effectively to define characters, and also as an archaic yet exceedingly resourceful soundtrack.
The sketches were rife with innuendo, containing some very blatant sexual jokes (and I mean blatant), and also more subtle allusions (involving none other than our friendly neighbourhood Spider-man) therefore making this show quite inappropriate for untainted minds. I myself fell victim to the classic form of misdirection present in this production. This one sketch in particular had me on the verge of condemning the entire thing and telling the performers that their “Juvenile Asinine Comments were boorish”, luckily enough I shamefully realised the topic was about something completely different.
Although not without its flaws The Smooth End of the Pineapple is quite an interesting experience, and I believe a worthwhile endeavour to undertake. But don’t blindly take my word for it, I’m hardly a subject matter expert, go see the show yourself and come to your own conclusions.
This review is based on the reviewer’s experience of the opening night performance on May 7.