Sketch duo Andrew Shires and Ambika Mod arrive on stage in a rather confusing manner, cleaning up debris and muttering to themselves. It’s not until after a little bit of flashback work that we understand the format of the show. We are led to believe that we’ve arrived for a séance, and while we wait for the spirits to appear, the performers might as well entertain us with some sketches they’ve been working on. It’s an entertaining enough premise and the show continues to bring surprises from here on in.
Standout sections include retellings of well-known nursery rhymes in light of their plague-riddled origins, an ill-fated Simon and Garfunkel tribute band, and a disastrous Beatles jukebox musical. In fact, none of the sketches are poor, although the Lord of the Rings-inspired triptych might be trying just a little too hard to be left field. Throughout, there are brilliant jokes with punchlines that earn rolling laughs and enthusiastic audience responses. The performers are amiable and have a chemistry that generally works well. There are a few moments where the comedic timing could be tightened and the show as a whole doesn’t quite merit the entire hour’s running time. However, there’s generally a good pace and none of the sketches individually outstay their welcome.
Children of the Quorn ultimately works because of its unpredictability, clever gags, and the performers’ commitment to the absurd wackiness of the routines. A brilliant final reveal is also pulled off effectively as we realise the show had been laden with foreshadowing the whole time. The final visual gag doesn’t quite work, but the audience is appreciative nonetheless. Shires and Mod’s confidence and quirks have won us over.