Following a run at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, comedic duo Miller and Salmon are back; this time as part of the Soho Rising Festival. In a one-off performance, the pair set out to corrupt all that is good and holy in this world with their sketch show Genesis.
Starting the show is a lip-sync performance that would have had any of the queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK sashaying away. Their ‘literal’ dance interpretations of the song lyrics are paired with penetrating stares into the eyes of those sitting in the front row, making for a hilarious albeit unnerving introduction to the duo. We are treated to further delights of Eurythmics’ ‘There Must Be An Angel’ and Madonna’s ‘Like a Prayer’ as the two comedians smoothly move between sketches.
Given the amount of cheering and hollering before the show had even started, Miller and Salmon appear to already have a fierce fan base. The audience’s energy riles up the pair as they make their way on stage, creating a frenzied atmosphere that is bewildering yet thrilling to be a part of. This does skew the evening though, and arguably not in Miller and Salmon’s favour; with an already receptive audience, more jokes land than they should. Salmon can seemingly do no wrong, his campiness lapped up by the audience. Salmon’s quirks make it difficult for Miller to share the spotlight, which is especially a shame if a quip about her being the sole writer of the show is true (with Salmon acting as the duo’s ‘creative team’). If they are hoping to prove their comedic flare tonight, Miller and Salmon are preaching to the choir.
Despite this imbalance between the double act and some overgenerous laughs, there are some moments that are deserving of the audience’s rapturous response. Sketches that revolve around the religious theme suggested by the show’s title tend to have more laughs: the two angel admins in heaven whinging about Jesus and his “new regime” is divine (though being the first sketch perhaps causes the duo to peak too early). Then there’s the nuns ‘confessing’ their sexual fantasies. As for the rest of the evening, some sketches are great conceptually though haven’t yet been fully realised. A few sketches go on much longer than they should; one example is the sketch featuring TV host Kelly O’Kelly – and her questionable Irish accent – interviewing special guest, Jesus Christ. Her probing of Christ’s views on homosexuality feels a bit forced, as is Christ’s addiction to Holy Water.
While it may be a mixed bag in terms of laughs, Miller and Salmon’s Genesis does show promise. The reception of tonight’s audience proves that they have found a fan-base that will continue to follow them; hopefully, their next venture will have the synergy this show needs.