Good.Clean.Men. lives up to the hype for SOPHIE BAUER.
Good.Clean.Men, Corpus Playroom, November 4th-7th
It was a Wednesday evening and my mood was dark as it started to rain on my so carefully straightened hair. As I felt it frizz uncontrollably, I took the proactive decision to treat myself and venture out of the safe confines of college in search of a bit of escapism. The toss up was between the much publicised sketch show ‘Good. Clean. Men’ and a double bill of the ever uplifting Chekhov. Tough choice…
As I set off towards the Corpus Playroom, scarf wrapped protectively around my locks, I must admit that the thought of ‘Good. Clean. Men’ did little to warm my heart. A whole host of unpleasant images proceeded to make their way into my mind. I pictured a massive egocentric opportunity for the performers to show off their tolerably humorous dispositions, combined with an unhealthy dose of arrogance. Do rest assured though, my assumptions could not have been further from the truth.
The evening brought my untrained eyes into focus, convincing me of the great potential of student comedy. The material was tight, original and witty, and as well as being extremely polished, the chemistry between the six comedians made this a genuine laugh out loud performance and hugely entertaining way to spend an evening.
As a general rule, each sketch was of high quality, though of course some stood out more than others for their innovativeness. My particular favourite was the opening sketch, which involved a contrast between a heroic, Lord Flashheart-esque man, superhuman in every sense of the word, and the average guy who eventually saves the day with his passably good quiche. The ‘Good Clean Men’ created a whole menagerie of characters and situations, each one as enjoyable to watch as the next, from an overprotective father to a ban on ballet in the workplace, a host of jogging conscious alcoholics and a tattooed clan swayed by the 12% discount.
What most impressed me with this show was that it rarely fell into loathsome predictability or comedy clichés, and always made excellent use of the various performers’ strengths. Moreover, it successfully showcased that every one of these comedians were decent, some even excellent, actors in their own rights. I was relieved to see that the writing was always with purpose, as in my opinion so many comedians attempt the near the knuckle jokes with either too much defiance or expectancy riding on them, despite them often lacking either a comedic context or conclusion. The show never crossed that line between humour and tastelessness, always finding a good balance between the risqué and the comical purpose at the centre of it.
If you haven’t seen it yet go, they’re performing until the 7th of November.