Egg: Richard Pictures – 3/5*
Everything we know about comedy as a haven for white middle-class men is thrown out the window in entertaining new sketch show Egg: Richard Pictures, performed by Fringe regulars Anna Leong Brophy and Emily Lloyd-Saini.
Performing as a duo known as Egg, Anna and Emily introduce the elephant in the room at the start. They are, in fact, POC women. In a landscape of comedy that largely looks nothing like they do, watching Anna and Emily on stage is refreshing. They celebrate their ethnic heritages in-show with a run of jokes suggesting they are interchangeable with other performers of their ethnic backgrounds (a list of performers that dries up pretty quickly when we’re talking about East Asian women).
As with all sketch shows, the content is a bit hit and miss depending on individual sense of humour and an understanding of the satire. That said, Anna and Emily are consistently funny. The sketches that do hit, for me, are absolutely bang on. A crowd favourite is Sharon and the creepy bloke trying to pick her up, who reappears in various forms throughout the show (usually when Sharon least expects it, like at a bus shelter – or a funeral). It’s almost painfully hilarious because it’s so painfully relatable it’s probably happening at that very moment right outside the venue in the Pleasance Courtyard. Two other great characters are the teenage boys convinced they have found ‘the one’ and wondering how best to express this in written form. Let this be said: they do not disappoint.
Their quick fire sketch segments, including ‘Shit Jobs Anna and Emily have done’, which mostly appear to be hospitality jobs in Soho and Shoreditch, are amongst the best, allowing them to experiment with a variety of characters, situations and accents. I also enjoyed Emily’s joking portrayal of the other side of the gender argument, jokingly asking questions such as ‘but what were you wearing?’ to illustrate the ridiculousness of the argument.
Some moments in Richard Pictures, particularly when Egg are playing themselves, feel too scripted. They almost feel less real as themselves than as the multiple multidimensional sketch characters they’ve created. The two psychics, Vivanda and Rwanda, are memorable, but maybe not enough to be such a focal characters in the show. That said, I did very much enjoy the climax to their story. I thought perhaps there was stronger material in there that could have been expanded.
The underlying message of Richard Pictures is that we are all one woman, with shared experiences (many relating to unfortunate men, some relating to unfortunate seating in hipster restaurants). The show ends on a big high, celebrating the uniqueness of the female experience as much as the uniqueness of Anna and Emily as comedians. Egg are clearly two very talented performers with a lot of chemistry and a lot of love for one another – who I would love to watch perform together again. Quite frankly, the world needs more comedians like Anna Leong Brophy and Emily Lloyd-Saini.
~ review by Susy Brett