Grubby Little Mitts - On The Mic

Grubby Little Mitts ★★★★

This Review is from August 2022

Nicholls and Brown (actors, Rosie Nicholls and Sullivan Brown) present a rapid series of twenty-two ‘Domestic Horror’ sketches. Everyday situations, like going to a coffee shop, are warped into absurdist and unexpected short skits.

Opening to the tune Chaise Longue by Wet Leg, we’re treated to an absurd, comically sexual dance that perhaps goes on slightly too long. But it’s a great tune and the excellent chemistry between Nicholls & Brown is established. The following sketch, featuring an extreme form of gaslighting at a networking event, cements the sexual tension between the two. A theme that plays out throughout the show.

My only minor quibble, and this is subjective, is that for me the actors should directly connect to the audience sooner. Listeners to the Nicholls & Brown On the Mic podcast episode already know that they’re accomplished improvisers (you should check it out, its brilliant), and even a very short audience interaction near the top would warm us, and the show, up. Without me giving spoilers, it would perhaps help with the punchline of the wonderful shelf slapstick sketch and lay the groundwork for the finale too.

That said, experienced director, Jon Gracey, gets the best out of his classically trained actors. Gracey has made some innovative choices, available due to a strong, confident script and the performer’s genuine acting abilities. When Brown can use a subtle facial expression as a punchline, then you’re on to something. And for all the absurdism, Gracey and the actors still find the truth in each sketch. It’s ridiculous, but we can relate.

So, if you fancy a slick, fast moving, truthful show, featuring absurdism, slapstick, clowning, Vaudeville, puns, comedy sound effects, dance, a hint of satire, improv, and some brilliant crazy props, go see Grubby Little Mitts. I really enjoyed it. It deserves to grow further and live way beyond Edinburgh.

Martin Walker

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