Jul 18 2008
Wednesday brought us to Doyle’s on Dolier Street to see the free gig by Diet of Worms. We recently went to a table quiz where this comedy troupe were raising funds for their impending trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This week they have been practicing and honing their act in preparation for Edinburgh.
Diet of Worms are a group of 5 comedians who’s comic stylings have been likened to the young Monty Pythons. Granted their act is frivolous, raucous and often surreal, but they are a far cry from Python at the moment. But that does not make them bad. Far from it , in fact. Their often very clever and always varied act is a lot of fun. We were all laughing from start to finish. A few cringe-worthy moments aside (which will undoubtedly be corrected – Wednesday was the first night of their three ‘preview’ shows), they having the makings of a very solid ‘sketch show’ on stage. Their musical interludes, their zany characters and their hit-and-miss use of video/cartoon footage on the projector behind them does have us wondering throughout, what will these crazy kids do next?
It took them a few minutes to get into their stride. The cramped upstairs venue of Doyles can’t have helped their performances and I can already imagine the timing improve with some logistical corrections such as better lighting, sharper music cuts, better sound effects, etc. But once they were up and running they revealed some very original ideas and had us all laughing riotously.
One sketch saw two advertising executives (I think) discuss a new project while vigorously stuffing apples into their mouths. I’m not sure why it was funny, it made no sense, but there were tears rolling down my face from laughing. The instigators of this scene were Niall Gaffney and Phillipa Dunne, who have such a great connection on stage it’s a shame we don’t see their two brilliant characters, Orla and Vincent, more often. In a scene that may require minor tweaking, Orla and Vincent are at mass, bored and waiting for their moment to sing the ‘hymns’. When they finally have the opportunity to sing their Gloria, the result is fantastic.
The video and cartoon footage is, as I said, hit-and-miss. Darragh‘s suggestion on the night that the troupe perform the voices on stage during the video would probably have added to the comedy. The troupe spend too long off-stage and it interrupts the fast paced rhythm of their show. That said, when the onscreen sketches work, they are excellent. The Famous Five bit had us in hysterics and the rather odd Puffincat tattoo story was hilarious, although Diet of Worms may be a bit off with their satirical timing by lampooning the Great Soviet Nation.
All in all, they were funny, they were very funny and that’s all that really matters. I hope they do well in Edinburgh. If they tighten up the show, remove some of the fluff around the edges and give some more stage time to the brilliant Amy Stephenson and her Kate Nash musical impersonation, they’ll be a success.
Tonight is the last night of their free preview gigs. So if you want to catch them before they become big famous comedians who don’t have time for the likes of us anymore, do to Doyle’s tonight at 6.30.