Pros: Fast-paced comedy presenting a dozen sketches in an hour.
Cons: Poor acoustics meant it was sometimes hard to hear.
The Tabernacle is a magnificent converted circular church in Notting Hill, with a seating capacity of nearly 300. For a young comedy duo to fill this space takes either a lot of friends or a great reputation – and it seems Patrick McPherson and Zac Peel have plenty of both.
The audience files in to the sight of a bare stage containing just two metal chairs. Onto this sparse set bound Patrick and Zac, two young men fresh out of university with razor-sharp haircuts, wearing brown chinos and tops without shoes or socks. This enthusiastic, talented pair perform a range of short, largely hilarious comedy sketches, based mainly around the theme of how people relate to one another. So there’s the pair of farmers, one of whom has a crow as his trusted advisor; and the father showing his son the night sky as a coded explanation of his family breakup: “There’s Orion’s belt… and there’s Orion’s underwear. Nowadays that’s all you need to accuse Orion of infidelity.”
Over the next hour they blaze through a range of situations: the doctor with the terrible bedside manner; a man suffering from insecurity whose therapist makes him impersonate the Jackson Five; university estate agents; Aladdin choosing his three wishes; the supplicant praying for a reminder of his iPhone password, and several more.
Some of the sketches look at historical moments with fresh eyes, such as Judas explaining to his father that he may have made a big mistake (“Don’t worry, no-one will remember it”), or Leonardo unveiling the Mona Lisa to a critic (“It’s rather small”). One or two hark back to the verbal gymnastics of Ronnie Barker, such as the charity Poor Them raising funds for people who have lost the use of the letter E.
Patrick and Zac present fresh, contemporary, vibrant comedy with energy and great timing. You won’t find any tired themes here; there’s no mention of Trump or Brexit, just a cartload of funny moments delivered in style.
They only played one night at The Tabernacle, so do look out for forthcoming shows on their website.