Do you describe yourself as a pint-downing ‘ladsy’? Would you ever partake in Veganuary? Or Breaduary? Have you ever sinned by using the word ‘Friyay’? If so, come and get justifiably mocked by sketch-duo Katy Novak and Amy Spinks’s hilarious show, Pluck, written by Joe Reaney and Will Noble.
Birds combine satire, observation and literal humour to pinpoint the absurdity in the modern day. From finding the wifi code in a café to going for an Indian meal, these everyday situations are turned upside down as the duo drain them to find comedy gold. Managing to perform twenty-ish sketches within an hour, Birds are able to prove themselves as they maintain a fast-pace without ignoring their comedic timing.
Brief interruptions are welcomed via pre-recorded skits offering a necessary break for both the audience and the performers. Namely, an advertisement for an oxymoronic but still existential ‘City Farm’ went down an absolute treat. For the first time, I was thankful to be a silent laugher as I couldn’t stop myself. Throughout the whole set, only one gag didn’t deliver, and this was a result of the residual laughter from the City Farm sketch, demonstrating their strength both on and offstage.
As a sketch-duo, it was clear that Novak and Spinks thoroughly enjoyed performing Pluck which only added to their likability. In future shows, it would be fantastic to see them develop rehearsed interactions into improvised conversation. However, for a strong show that is in its infancy, this trait will certainly come with time.
With regards to the writing, Reaney and Noble have set the bar high. As Pluck didn’t contain any recurrent characters or situations, they had to rely on the independent wit and delivery of each skit. From passive aggressive cyclists who are slightly above the law to plagued colleagues, each sketch was as creative and hilarious as the last, and has certainly left me yearning for more.
With the ongoing mutters questioning whether sketch is dead, it isn’t. Birds are resurrecting it. Having had no exposure to the sketch-duo prior to Pluck, the show went above and beyond all expectation. After a brief testing period in Brighton, it would be fantastic to see Pluck performed at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Whilst there are still tickets, catch the show on the 29th – 31st May in Brighton.