RETROLOST - A Nugget of Purest Green
Fringe Bar, 26-32 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington
29/04/2015 - 02/05/2015
NZ International Comedy Festival 2015
James Jobe and Hugo McKinnon make up the sketch comedy duo Retrolost. Raised on everything British, from Spike Milligan and Monty Python through to Mitchell & Webb, these two present their greatest characters and bizarre situations in A Nuggest of Purest Green.
Check out their sketches, Falula’s Fun Times, She’s So Hot, A Problem Among The Homeless and more on YouTube or retrolost.com.
Wed 29 April – Sat 2 May, 7pm
Groups 5+ $12.00* service fees may apply
0800 TICKETEK (842 538)
Seasoning trad Brit silliness with local relevance
Review by Lena Fransham 01st May 2015
A Nugget of Purest Green as a titleis an attraction for any Blackadder fan and an apt indicator of the show’s debt to some of the legends of British comedy. Retrolost’s Hugo McKinnon and James Jobe are immediately likeable, confident but self-deprecatory – very Kiwi somehow – as they open with a witty musical intro to get us comfortable. The duo’s relaxed and accessible charisma is a gift.
Their sketches channel the absurdism of geniuses like Milligan and Monty Python, recalling Monty Python’s Flying Circus scenarios in particular, although not all of this is good. The art history sketch features an eccentric pair of academics – gorgeous characterisation – talking Freudian art theory in a risky Pythonesque scene that ultimately sails past its mark into a humourless wasteland.
These guys are the professionals. I can’t do a good punchline to save myself but as an audience member, I reckon that a penis joke – especially one that crosses into sticky territory, so to speak – has to be pitched and contextualised just right. Otherwise it doesn’t just miss, it tanks, at the cost of audience rapport. McKinnon and Jobe don’t falter though, enjoying themselves enormously throughout the highs and lows.
The Peaches and/or Beaches game show storyline is a strain at first – it doesn’t grab me at all as an opening sketch – but gains charm as the characters pop their heads up repeatedly throughout the show. The Moats sketch just loses me entirely, but the Christmas tree sequence nails it and the exposé of The Magic School Bus’s Miss Frizzle gets a laugh. Strong characterisation is the backbone of this humour and these two excel at it.
The freshest material for me is the stuff with recognisable local character, such as James’s lovely representation of the young guy selling his mates off before he goes on his OE. The injection of NZ flavour into British traditional forms has the effect of seasoning the silliness with local relevance, and these guys put their own cheeky stamp on it. And in this spirit, the closing song whipped casually out on a battered guitar and a ukulele, is a work of whimsical brilliance.
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