A Few Idiots Who Spoil It
For Everyone Else
by Tim Key and Mark Watson
Canal Cafe Theatre, Little Venice, London
October – November 2002
Rosanna Lavelle as Kate
Directed by Phillip Breen
‘Eat A Mars Bars’ original track composed for AFIWSIFEE by Cupsies
Technical Support from Martin Ball and Daniel Lewis
London Evening Standard
29 October 2002
Revealing Footlights membership on your CV can be a hindrance among contemporary comedy's inverted snobs, but Mark Watson and Tim Key are fighting back. The skeletal Watson is a distinctive off-beat stand-up who won
Edinburgh's 2002 Open Mic Award, Key was in Cambridge's Perrier newcomer 2001 sketch team. Perversely, this first joint effort trades punchlines for narrative.
A Few Idiots Who Spoil It For Everyone Else finds Watson and Key in sitcomland as squabbling flatmates. Tim slept with Mark's beloved, Mark has poisoned Tim's Mars Bar. There's the briefest nod to revenge tragedies, but the real touchstone is Steptoe, this neurotic couple inextricably locked in a murderous love-hate cycle.
The pacey humour is pitched beyond typical bedsit badinage. A close reference point is Milligan, with verbal and visual non sequiturs dominating. Watson reads a book entitled Stalin, but with a picture of Jeremy Beadle on the cover. A flipchart commentary offers cod-Brechtian sidebars.
The most original sequence is undoubtedly Key's death scene, in which actions ingeniously mimic the lyrics emanating from the radio. A Few Idiots... currently stands out more for the intelligence of its construction than its wit. Add more gags, excise the self-indulgence and this will be a killer two-hander.
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