Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom
Aug 12, 14-26 (19.30)
Material: Delivery: Laughs:
Set in the basement of a plush bar The Newsroom was a slightly rough looking night club venue. I thought it would be a fitting venue for the expected degrading content of the show. And indeed around a quarter of the way in, several members of the audience stood up and left in disgust at the dire material. The perpetrators of this comic affront were Martin and Phil, known as Loose Brie, who have shared a flat for many years and came up with the idea of writing a show based on solving all of the world’s problems. In an hour. In tackling many issues very relevant to today’s media driven world, the dynamic between the two seemed only to highlight the contrast they created between themselves and caring responsible adults. The more sensitive the issue, the more distasteful their reactions – no blood, guts or gore, but plenty of nasty physical insinuations.
Mixed in with unspeakable content (of which more later) was some quirky witty banter between the two that was perhaps a product of the real time they spend together in their poky flat. They used improvisation that delighted them – they had a big thing with delight – which actually shone through but didn’t stop more walkouts in disgust. Did we know we would be walking the plank by coming to this event? It was a show filled with distaste and laughter, if you can manage it, in the face of two guys parrying with each other about faults and discrepancies, really about them living together.
It’s a highly physical sketch show, but all the context for the disgusting/distressing physical stuff we do is in what we say. It’s a much darker show without the words
Read the full interview
The title ‘Loose Brie Solve Everything’ afforded some good jokes, as they listed lots of things that need solving, from public embarrassment to which they gave the quick solution of acting weird all the time. They mushed around concepts, finding negatives about each other and then finding it difficult to have anything positive to say. Although it seemed to be about the world, really it seemed to be about them. No sooner had the general remarks and issues momentarily won our attention, than we were shocked back into the howling torrents of abuse as they set an imaginary fire under yet another idea.
Our thoughts dallied, wondering if we were safe or not just for being there. But we perked up, or slouched in our seats just to see what would happen next, and next it came. Martin used his Freddy Mercury lookalike joke to reel us in, and you know as performance goes he wasn’t too bad at it choosing to growl and speak loudly not to sing poetically. The same strain of intelligence that ran through all of it did bring with it a certain continuity like you’d find in a less disturbing version of theatre, it hits highs and lows, but their reality was to offend the sensibilities and discover who was willing to endure it any further.
The level of uncertainty seemed to be very much on purpose, for although they apologised each time for going too far, they then struck the chord of the kind of comedy where nothing and no one was safe. At least they got me thinking about my own mortality I questioned myself as to how I truly felt about the show I was seeing it was succeeding in doing that for me. This pair weren’t rock stars far away from the actualities of everyday life, these were two guys going through life more than willing to provoke the world (in a small night club in a plush part of Edinburgh’s West end)
For their amazing finale they took their trousers down, bare for all to see! I couldn’t believe it but as a member of the audience, when no one else reacted neither did I, it was socially bad but drew out some laughter as they pretended to speak out of their backsides. If this lot appeals to your darker sensibilities go and watch everything you have ever held dear be blasted away.