#Jollyboat: Why Do Nerds Suddenly Appear?

comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Published 16 Aug 2017

Most Free Fringe acts flyer, many also stump up for posters, but few are established enough to get a whole banner flying across the outside of their venue. And usually a huge queue below it too.

“We started next door at Opium: we've come a long way,” jokes Ed, the taller, hairier member of the singing Jollyboat brothers. It’s all relative: they may not be Flight of the Conchords but they’re (sea) monsters at this level of the Fringe. Away from here they’re also doing a crowdsourced afternoon best-of, which is sometimes repeated later too, and reintroducing their own Spanish tribute act later in the run: Merryferry.

This show is their new one though, with a few rejigged oldies thrown in; where it departs from their usual laugh-at-the-lyrics course is by including a decent serious song, about post-split dating. But generally Jollyboat’s compositions are packed with puns, often aimed at geeky targets, as they spend much of the year playing comic-cons. Here they pick on Harry Potter and Batman, and perv on Disney princesses.

One bit is repeated here and in the best-of, an opening medley of pirate-themed songs. Interestingly, it works much better in the latter, where the lyrics scroll down a big screen. Seeing punchlines in advance makes them funnier, it turns out: who knew?

This less-polished affair is a little shaky in places, but a fun boat-party all the same, and the show flies by. Leave them wanting more is the Jollyboat motto, particularly when you’ve several other shows to plug. Musical pun pirates: it’s a good hook.