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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Birds: Pluck – Junkyard Dogs: The Dog House

Performers: Amy Spinks and Kate Novak

Writers and Directors: Joe Reaney and Will Noble

Reviewer: Simon Topping

You’d be pushed to find two more likeable performers on the sketch comedy circuit than the members of Birds; Amy Spinks and Kate Novak tread the line of confidence and charm so incredibly well that they very quickly have their audience eating out of the palm of their hands.

“Sketch is dead, so let’s start the show”, Birds holler as they begin. A bold statement of intent from the duo. An exclamation that from the off the crowd know is not going to be true. The Birds’ show is excellent and the throng are treated to twenty-plus snippets of comedy fun in fifty minutes, at a mightly impressive pace, all of which are sublimely performed.

The writers Joe Reaney and Will Noble pull from everyday life to create well-rounded characters and fabulously daft situations for Spinks and Novak to portray. Targets of the writers’ humour often include the liberal elite, so-called “influencers” and political correctness. The sketches are not only tied to those constraints, however, and generally lampoon modern living and the absurdities to be found within, occasionally making commentary on gender issues too.

Highlights include a classic indian restaurant scene, Russians editing musical songs, a sketch in rhyme and the slightly anti-social cyclists. There are also a couple of nicely crafted films, which make the room giggle heartily and briefly give Spinks and Novak a little rest bite to gather breath.

The laughs come thick and fast from an appreciative gathering; time flies as we enjoy these two engaging performers expertly shifting from one set of characters to the next. Both performers are good mimics, as shown by the array of accents they adopt throughout the piece, wonderful clowns and have great chemistry together.

There is no character repetition in the piece, so Reaney and Noble have had to develop a depth of funny material for the show in stand-alone sections, something they have done well. The pacing is good throughout and even if one of two of the sketches (and it really is only one or two in the whole canon) don’t perfectly hit the mark, there’s another that comes to make the room laugh just moments later.

Birds: Pluck is a fabulous show, well written and even more expertly performed. The warm, cheeky and often anarchic twosome reel the audience in and don’t let us go right up until the end credits.

Expect Birds to be ones to watch in the Fringe, hopefully, we’ll see much more of Spinks and Novak in the future.

Reviewed on 3rd May | Image: Contributed

Performers: Amy Spinks and Kate Novak Writers and Directors: Joe Reaney and Will Noble Reviewer: Simon Topping You'd be pushed to find two more likeable performers on the sketch comedy circuit than the members of Birds; Amy Spinks and Kate Novak tread the line of confidence and charm so incredibly well that they very quickly have their audience eating out of the palm of their hands. "Sketch is dead, so let's start the show", Birds holler as they begin. A bold statement of intent from the duo. An exclamation that from the off the crowd know is not going to…

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