I didn’t know what to expect from Totally Tom. The posh comedy duo hardly have the cutting edge on upbringing in Oxford, and given that in their Youtube hit ‘High Renaissance Man’ discusses being rejected from Oxford, I worried that that subject would be bandied about all evening. But sitting down in the North Wall Arts Centre surrounded by a crowd young enough to be mistaken for a Justin Bieber concert, I realised I was in for something quite different.They started disappointingly, with an over-sexualised ‘club med’ satire. Luckily, this sketch was followed by a witty spin on the classic ‘girls in bathroom’ scenario, but with the added element of a cocaine addiction. The scarily accurate “we’re all really worried about you” was foiled with clever one-liners such as: “you know pregnancy is the best form of contraception”.
Their strongest sketches involved taking a creative spin on commonly known themes, including lampooning Colin Firth’s ‘Bertie’ in ‘The King’s Speech’, and a snippet of a show called ‘Bratwurst’ described as “Skins meets Schindler’s List” – both of which were shockingly funny as well as just shocking. Tackling taboo is not the only thing the duo did well; their clever subversion of the Shakespearean ‘aside’ was brilliantly set up and their impersonations of women were frankly a little too believable.
Constantly falling back onto innuendo weakened what was otherwise a very strong performance. Moreover having seen some of the sketches on their stint in Channel 4’s Comedy Lab the traditionally bleak stand-up set was a little underwhelming. Overall the pair were extremely funny, and I was cackling along with the rest of the teenage audience throughout. The pair’s jokes were often “punchier than John Prescott”. Were there weaknesses in the performance? Definitely. Would I see them again? Totally.
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