Twisted Loaf: Stalemate

A dank and stale cave that only gets used once a year is probably one of the most fitting rooms on the Fringe for Nina Smith and Libby Northedge who make up Twisted Loaf. The sketch duo who won the Funny Women Awards in twenty thirteen have a more dark and twisted perspective than current contemporaries. They set the tone from the immediate go as Northedge crawls onto the stage looking as though she has just gone through an alcoholic apocalypse and missing some vital clothing. Smith enters with a goblin like persona. It’s probably not what a lot of people imagined and probably a bit challenging for some of the audience. For those more of a twisted and dark disposition, it works.

There’s a lot to admire in each of Smith’s and Northedge’s physical performances, at times they are mesmerising to watch as they creep into character to character. Stalemate reminds me a lot of the depraved seediness of the BBC 3 comedy Monkey Dust, it can make for uncomfortable watching but satisfying the voyeur in one. But unlike Monkey Dust, there seems to be something missing, particularly cutting punch lines.

Twisted Loaf are catering for the lewd and crude, but giving some of the audiences mixed reactions, it does feel that maybe Twisted Loaf need to do a little more to meet audiences somewhere more in the middle if they really them in hysterics. The pace feels a bit sedate throughout and can do with an injection now and again to raise the audience a little. Original and bold but somewhat feeling missing that decisive comedy edge; certainly worth a watch if requiring something on the other spectrum from light comedy.


Chris Aitken

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