Trygve Wakenshaw & Barnie Duncan – Different Party

This is a show about two leather interior salesmen. That’s about as concrete a fact as you can glean from Different Party. There’s something very pure about it. It doesn’t really have a point or a story, not at face-value anyway. It’s more of a day-in-the-life than a structured narrative. The whole thing seems to exist in a pocket dimension where nothing makes sense and everything is funny.

Eschewing common sense and narrative structure, it just kind of staggers from joke to joke as the pair bumble around their office breaking things, throwing paper, and failing to grasp ordinary motor skills. The intensity of the physical comedy is spectacular – they really know how to take a hit and look funny doing it.

Lacking any story, or any through-line of any sort really, Different Act is an uncannily bizarre trip where the nonsensical intersects with the mundane. The farcical non-sequiturs that pepper the run-time create this fantastic tension between ordinary office life and the utterly insane inner world of the two characters. It’s almost like watching the weird musings of a boredom-oppressed brain leaping into reality.

If the show has any point at all, it’s that business and offices are stupid. Insightful prodding at the way businessmen act rubs against the outlandish asides, leaving each looking as silly as the other. The only complaint is that some of the physical gags run very long. Never so much as to leave you bored mind, but there comes a point in any joke where we’ve all very much got the point and it would be nice if you could move on please. That said, the majority of the show is wall to wall laughter, and all with a very spartan approach to dialogue.

There’s honestly nothing like this show at the Fringe, certainly not that I’ve seen. It would have been a shame to have got through the month without witnessing this totally bizarre spectacle.

★★★★

Keiran Burnett