Having experienced a buoyant debut last year, sketch twosome Giants return with a new show: the literally titled For An Hour. And with the Liam Williams-helmed outfit Fight in the Dog behind them—a company with demonstrable flair in blending the theatrical with the comedic—the handsome Barney Fishwick and Will Hislop are trying to reach beyond your conventional series of sketches.
The sketches themselves are competent enough – particularly their opening (and recurring) number where they play Lars and Ulrich, aka the Norwegian pop-house sensation Fjord, complete with svelte black polo-necks and almost-offensive Scandi accents. And though the writing is patchy (moments of brilliance offset by moments of gap-filling ordinariness), the honest chemistry between the young pair is dynamite. They bounce off each other—and the audience—with a slick professionalism which belies their years.
Calling the chemistry ‘honest’ is no understatement. The premise of the show is that the skits are creations made by these two best friends since they were tiny, or if not creations then sketchified flashbacks. And for the most part it works. It gives the show a coherent spine.
But it’s a tough compromise, and even though the emerging conceit—that Hislop’s present-day anxieties of being overshadowed by his tall, charming co-presenter start to interfere with the memory-sketches themselves—is a refreshingly intelligent structural device, more work is needed. The smattering of excellent punchlines suggests a promising comedy penmanship, but the pair seem restrained rather than galvanised by the limitations of their concept.