This show could easily be called ‘Joe Barnes and his eyebrows’ but perhaps, that was just my favourite bit. Barnes, and his partner Henry Perryment, have once again created a show that delights from start to finish.
A simple premise sees a clock jumping around as we follow Barnes and Perryment through woods, mountains, offices and airports to hilarious end. Describing their work as ‘character-led comedy’ these two certainly flex their collective acting muscle. They create characters that return throughout the show, holding onto the same intensity each time and the audience laughter too. And laugh we do. This is true head back and cackle stuff with Perryment’s dominance in some roles mirroring expertly with Barnes’ nods to the audience – with obligatory eyebrow raise. Their obvious enjoyment of their own hilarity makes for hysterical viewing, along with a corpse or two to keep it real.
Not only are the sketches quick and the transitions smooth (all the markers of a quality sketch show) but the writing is exceptional. This is intelligent humour with quips and jokes that you’d miss if you were looking at your lap as the lines are matched with looks and nods that really set them off. The boys manage to exaggerate real-life scenarios with expert comic timing. As the show progresses we find ourselves in some longer-form pieces which, although they do eventually hit the mark, sometimes take a little longer to do so. However when brought back round with the final few sketches we really see Perryment and Barnes in their element – accents and all.
Goodbear is not only pretty exciting and pretty cool; it’s also pretty damn funny. So sit, worship a dolphin or two and remember to look after the mayflies – it’s only fair.
Goodbear is playing at Bedlam until August 28.