[2011024] An Evening with Style & Panache

An Evening with Style & Panache [FringeTIX]

Dave Bloustien & Lliam Amor (featuring Amanda Buckley) @ The Tuxedo Cat – Yellow Room

7:30pm, Thu 17 Feb 2011

I was unsure about what to expect from this show, though as a “discerning chap” I was clearly attracted by the Guide blurb. And I knew that Lliam Amor did some work in Shaun Micallef’s most wonderful The Micallef P(r)ogram(me), and Dave Bloustien’s name rang a bell.

There’s a voiceover at the top of the performance in the form of an airplane safety recording; it’s quite clever and raised expectations. But as soon as Evelyn Style (Bloustien) and Rodger Panache (Amor) take to the stage, bold spectacles and English awkwardness, there’s quips about the venue: the daylight coming through the large windows scuppers their lighting plans, but provides them with the opportunity to punctuate every skit with a pantomimic call of “blackout”. And, with barely a titter from the baker’s dozen of assembled punters (at least three of which were media), they launched into their first sketch (with the help of the delightful Amanda Buckley).

And their sketches are quite variable in quality; the opening BBQ scene seems to have no real purpose (other than to declare that “tofu is murder” – yes, yes it is), and the Gentleman’s Club sketch is also pretty grim. But the Stakeout is pretty amusing, and Bloustien’s solo tale about Tutankhamun’s cock being found in a thrift store was strangely compelling.

Sitting in the front row (I like to try and encourage the performers if I can), my life was called upon as inspiration for their improvisational “Make’ems” segment; as with most improv, a fair chunk of the humour comes from the unexpected turns and resultant stumbles that are made on the fly. However, having seen the Whose Line Is It Anyway? guys the previous evening, this effort felt flat by comparison.

As mentioned before, the ambient light was an issue – but the “blackout” calls often offered more humour than the skits they ended. The stage, too, was a bit of a concern for them, lifting a bit under their weight and slapping back onto the supports beneath quite alarmingly. It’s early days yet, of course, but the venue can’t really excuse Style & Panache‘s lack of preparation; they ran over ten minutes short, and struggled with some of the material they did have.

2 thoughts on “[2011024] An Evening with Style & Panache”

  1. Thanks, Pete. As you know, it was a first run-through and not technically open to media. Windows have since been blacked out, stage reinforced, scripts edited and comedy upped. See you around the Fringe!

  2. Hi Dave – great talking to you & Lliam last night. I only mentioned the media thing because I recognised the faces in the crowd – I’ve no idea whether they were there in an “official” capacity or not. And it sounded like your second night had a lot issues than the first – if only because you had a more interesting subject for the Make’ems ;) Good luck for the rest of the Fringe!

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