Not to be sniffed at.
We had been excited about this day for a couple of weeks. We had picked up two returned tickets for a rescheduled Russell Howard gig at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol. This was a matinee at 4pm and so allowed us plenty of choices for another gig in the evening. We had five or six choices but there was never any doubt that we would choose this one. We had seen the girls in Edinburgh in 2013 and loved them and were due to see this show on the 25th August on the final night of the World Record attempt, but I was forced to rearrange at the last minute to squeeze two other shows into the schedule. This show, like last year’s, was directed by the wonderful Tom Parry, one of the nicest people we have met in our time following comedy.
A few days before this trip the Russell Howard gig was cancelled for the second time, so we had a day out in South Devon with a trip to Seaton followed by a few hours shopping in Honiton itself, then a meal, then a real locals’ pub to watch the football before turning up at the Beehive an hour or so before the gig.
The Beehive is another of the new breed of Arts centres with a lovely big capacity and a great performance space. Only open a couple of months, the staff were wonderfully welcoming and unlike some of these places, the drinks were much better priced. The crowd were like we usually get at arts centre venues, mostly middle aged, and middle class. From talking to a couple of people, they were here to support the venue and have a night out as they did not necessarily know about the comedy itself.
There was a strong local connection as Rose and Beattie are almost locals and as a result there were a lot of family and friends in the audience.
Performance time came and the girls launched into an hour of magnificent sketches, very cleverly linked together with a variety of dances. Several running themes emerged with the highlight for us being Camille’s sniffy girl character.
There was no filler here. Every sketch worked and brought the house down. My favourite sketch was a commentary on the internet played through a Bingo chatroom. It featured the best timed and boldest use of the C-word I have seen in comedy. It brought an audible gasp from several members of the audience and really emphasised the point of the sketch. Brilliant.
Several bits of audience interaction worked beautifully, and we were all on our feet dancing at the end of the show. Some of the subject matter here was crude and very silly, but importantly everything was belly laugh funny.
Poo in a bag came up a few times as did threesomes. And a final running gag ended the show with Camille crowdsurfing. Well deserved rapturous applause and, we hope, a few new fans of the sketch comedy genre. For us, this was a near perfect gig, definitely in my top three of the year, and as good as anything we saw in Edinburgh. If you haven’t seen it already, go catch them doing this show at the Soho Theatre in London in December.
What we noticed afterwards was that, unlike a lot of similar venues, a lot of the people stayed in the bar for more drinks. We got to meet the girls and have a lovely chat, as we did with the lady who is booking the shows for the venue. A wonderful, night, a wonderful venue. We hope they get plenty more comedy as it is well within our range, just an hour away. And we hope the locals in the surrounding area really get behind it.