Edinburgh Review: Superclump

Henry Paker! Ben Partridge! Elis James! Nat Luurtsema! Sian Harries! Mike Wozniak! Tom Craine! Josh Widdicombe! Henry Widdicombe! They are… Superclump! Any good?

superclump1If the Travelling Wilburys and Audioslave have taught the world anything, it’s to beware the supergroup. And while the nine members of Superclump are not household names, they have proved themselves to be talented comics, so by clubbing together to do sketches, they are setting themselves up for something of a fall.

But hoorah – this is both a fun and funny hour, even if it falls into the common trap of sketch in being a bit inconsistent. It is more hit than miss, though, and pleasingly varied. There is excellent cute stuff (Josh Widdicombe and Nat Luurtsema’s recurring, deadpan double act, also Elis James shattering the innocence of children’s games), middle-class stuff (a dinner party that inexplicably turns horror) and odd stuff (Henry Paker and Mike Wozniak, who excel throughout, do something brilliantly absurd with a sketch that begins with a dance; also the sketches on the noble art of kabuki theatre).

All a matter of your taste, then. So while none truly rocked the room, there is always someone laughing, which is a rarity. A few should be funny but don’t tickle for some reason, such as James’s half-naked interpretive dance (it really does sound funny written down!) and a two-part sketch on a genie who is asked to pay part of a council tax bill.

Superclump is a beast that is freed up as much as it is constrained by having nine heads. There is variety, but it lacks identity. It flows, but disorientates. Crucially, there is enough quality to pull you through this minefield.

To return to the original point on supergroups, there is of course a sense of unrealised potential here – not in a “that should’ve been better” way, but in a “wow this could become pretty special” kind of way. Unlikely as it seems that nine jobbing comedians would be able to commit to Superclump, I would be delighted to see them tackle that difficult second album.
Four stars
Superclump is on until August 30 (except 19) at 2.20pm at the GRV. Click here for tickets.

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