Short and Curly is a comedy duo comprised of Rebecca Shorrocks and Paul F. Taylor and they are, put simply, a delight. The main theme of their show is that- Curly (Taylor) is about to turn 40, and wants to remain young. He does this by delving into his memories with Short (Shorrocks), which are portrayed through a series of sketches. Sadly, this theme is the weakest aspect of the show – the chatter between the sketches feels like it brings the energy down. The sketches themselves are undoubtedly strong enough to stand on their own, without the need for an overarching theme to tie them together.
The pair have some amazingly bizarre ideas – Phantom of the Opera with shaving cream, West Side Story in a school cafeteria, the list goes on. As a duo, they riff off each other effortlessly, mixing ice skating and 70s TV shows with such confidence that we’re almost tricked into thinking that the two are an intuitive match.
Being too structured isn’t really an issue that many shows experience at the Fringe, but Young at Start would be even better if it fully embraced the creative genius of the duo, and didn’t try to pin itself down into a narrative. Apart from this, though, it’s a great performance that is a little rough around the edges but makes up for it with snappy dialogue and original ideas. The running gags keep getting better as the show goes on, with plenty of costume changes crammed into a very short space of time – and if you’ve ever watched Rainbow, there will be a lot of throwbacks which might make you feel nostalgic (or old, or both. I don’t know).
At its core, Young at Start is a multifaceted show that’s pleasantly lighthearted, with a nice look into British culture. If you’re into musicals, Neighbours, or visual gags, you should definitely swing by and show Short and Curly the love they deserve.