Mr & Mrs
Liz Stephens & Aaron Counter @ Bakehouse Theatre – Studio
6:00pm, Tue 13 Mar 2012
“Marriage… It’s a funny thing,” promises the flyer.
Well, at least comedians Liz Stephens and Aaron Counter share a marriage… so they’ve got that part covered.
The other bit, though…
There’s very little surprising content in Mr & Mrs; whilst the tested-and-true humorous nuggets of gender contrast are trotted out, their funniest material comes from their relationship as comedians. Their marriage, they maintain, is only important because it provides much of their material (though Stephens, in a contrived pre-recorded session with their “marriage counsellor”, also concedes that the union is also underpinned by Counter’s “huge cock”).
But the thing is… you never feel as if these two ever have any real conflict. You feel that their marriage is as safe as houses. And their theatrical presence onstage can’t convince you otherwise.
The delivery is very much he said / she said, interrupted occasionally by some pre-recorded video. The videos suffer from dodgy sound, and the transitions between segments are generally awkward and poorly timed; sometimes entire jokes are lost because they’re delivered whilst the audience is chuckling. And whilst Stephens gives the impression that she’s quite comfortable onstage, Counter’s presence is stiff and ungainly.
I really didn’t enjoy Mr & Mrs; even Liz’s poise and delivery couldn’t cover the fact that their material was limp. Their marriage may indeed be a funny thing, but they didn’t show it on stage.