Review: Siblings – Acting Out

Their familial dynamic has its moments, but the characters fail to engage

★★
comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 10 Aug 2018
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Siblings

Maddy and Marina Bye's show begins with darkness, and a fun, effective trick to highlight their distinct personas, early doors. Marina frets over her script and vocal warm-ups; Maddy makes funny noises and rates the audience for fitness. We’re in classic clever/daft double-act territory here, although Siblings’ other characters often turn out to be too post-millennial for their own good.

Acting Out veers between old tropes and new dopes. There are echoes of Morecambe and Wise as the haughtier Marina ("classically trained, three years at Guildhall”) hijacks the show to perform highbrow drama. Then Maddy (clown college) 'jacks it right back with the requisite high jinks.

That old-school dynamic is interesting given the family background: they’re the daughters of a very famous comedy actor and comedy producer, both best known for anarchic alternative stuff. Youthful rebellion can move in mysterious ways.

One recurring pair of characters recalls Monty Python’s Upper Class Twit of the Year sketch, as the sisters painstakingly—and painfully—pull elastic bands over each other’s heads to sneer up their faces. But where Python sent their posh grotesques through hoops, Siblings’ non-yummy mummies just chunter away, mildly amusingly.

These are rather niche caricatures. A couple of new-age spiritualists are probably well-observed, but again do little apart from contradict each other, then hassle a guy from the audience. He’s the lazy butt of several sketches.

The Bye sisters are entertaining company, and if you live or work somewhere affluently bohemian then this will no doubt all seem hilariously relevant. But if you don’t, then it probably won’t.