Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: In Cahoots: Two White Guys, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson.
Paul G Raymond and Luke Manning elicit plenty of humorous mileage from their mixed-race partnership. Their signature sketch, which opens the show, features Raymond as a hack Asian comic, trading in the broadest racial stereotypes, pandering, at his cost, to Manning’s culturally constructed, over-supportive and narrow-minded audience.
A sledgehammer cracking a nut, it’s indicative of their typically more nuanced material only in its preoccupation with race, which for good and ill, characterises their most memorable skits. An Indian movie review show, interviewing a British-Asian actor about his new, onerously grim drama, is nicely played – skewering the respective film traditions to a ridiculous degree.
And their best characters are a pair of loveable, star-crossed friends, a drunk white Londoner and his Muslim cabbie initially talking at cross-purposes, but slowly inching towards common ground.
Sometimes, ethnic tension is more in the set-up, with a terrorist hostage video erupting into luvvie-ish, directorial farce. But the self-reflexiveness grows a little too arch around Manning’s oblivious BBC 3 producer. This tendency to over-elaborate suggests a firmer directorial hand is needed, because when they strip things back to a couple playfully exploring new sexual avenues, In Cahoots can be very funny indeed.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 27 August 2015
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