City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Sunday Defensive: Friend & Foe Review

By JD Stewart - Posted on 11 August 2009

Show details
Mick Perrin for Just For Laughs Live
Running time: 
Phil Gilbert and Jacob Edwards

It has always been a mystery to me, who decides what shows play in which venues at the Edinburgh Fringe. Obviously, the larger acts are pretty much guaranteed a big venue, but for the smaller acts, who says where they go? I'm sure the answer won't be as enlightening as I care to think though.

Take The Sunday Defensive, for example. Jacob Edwards and Phil Gilbert have made their name with appearances in the hit Channel 4 comedies Peep Show and The I.T. Crowd and this year they bring to the Festival Friend & Foe.

I wasn't aware of either of them before the show, but the sell-out audience suggests they already have good name awareness. Not knowing what to expect, I was very surprised.

Instead of bombarding the audience with numerous character sketches, Jacob and Phil opted to just be themselves. This worked well throughout the hour, as they worked through various "friend and foe" situations, involving a new West End musical, cold meat, fights and reconciliations.

The two clearly have a strong comedic connection, bouncing back and forth with each other, faster than a game of Wii Tennis after one too many cocktails.

To return to the opening, regarding venue size, the Pleasance Attic was far too small as it was easy to see why this duo's brand of comedy was a sell-out. I hope that the Pleasance organisers take note, and if the two return next year, they can up the anti and the audience at the same time.

If you are looking for well written and executed sketches this festival, look no further than Friend & Foe. You won't be disappointed.

Times 12-31 Aug (not 19), 4.30pm