There’s been a little bit of hype surrounding Daphne, the new sketch trio comprised of Phil Wang, Jason Forbes and token white man George Fouracres. All three have appeared at the Fringe before to good notices, but this show in particular seems to be a hot tip in comedy circles. We’re happy to report that the hype is mostly justified. Daphne have come up with a show that is by turns clever, perceptive, daft and surreal.
There’s nothing here that’s notably revolutionary. Daphne like to break sketches down to components, revealing the different parts to the audience, and then subverting what’s expected of them. It’s all a bit Python, especially during the sillier sketches, when the screechy voices are deployed. In fact, you can tell all the Daphne players have Oxbridge roots. There’s a long monologue that doesn’t have much pay-off, and an excessive amount of singing. It’s a little show-offy in that uniquely Oxbridge way.
When the sketches work, though, they are strong indeed. One moment in particular, involving a Radio Four drama which uses the N-word an awful lot, brought the house down. The best sketches are cleverly constructed and unpredictable. Wang, Forbes and Fouracres make a good team, and the show they’ve come up with is a lot of fun. Sure to be a big draw in years to come.