Revan and Fennell: Fan Club opens with a voice-over solemnly introducing a stripped-back production of The Lion King due to budget cuts to the arts. We are then treated to the sight of Rosie Revan and Alice Fennell prancing round the stage in outfits seemingly crafted on Blue Peter. It’s a hilarious start and cleverly also makes a serious point, and perhaps an uncomfortable glance into the future.
The duo steam into their Fringe debut off the back of glowing reviews, awards, and comparisons to the likes of Smack the Pony, and this is a vastly assured and confident opening to their Fringe run. A high standard is maintained throughout a breakneck hour.
Particular highlights include the thuggish physicists, and the cheerily monstrous maid of honour Natalie, who can’t help but hog the limelight at her friend’s wedding. Revan specialises in these larger-than-life egoists, and is a truly gifted all-round performer. Fennell often plays the straight man, and is perfect at exasperated bewilderment. These attributes are best highlighted in perhaps the show’s finest moment, in which Fennell begins a ballad as the lead vocalist, only to be incrementally upstaged by backing singer Revan. It’s not only beautifully sung by both, but the comic timing is exquisite, and Fennell’s dejected expression almost heart-breaking.
Revan and Fennell: Fan Club works on the skill and the personas of its performers. It isn’t particularly edgy, but they admit that themselves in their promotional material, so it would be perhaps unfair to criticise them for the occasionally cosy nature of some of the sketches. What they do have is genuine talent, and a chemistry that can only mature the longer they are working together.