'Weekend at Barnie's' reinvigorates its '80s black comedy namesake with sublime
It takes just two awesome comedians and a paddling pool to revive (quite literally) '80s black comedy, Weekend at Barnie’s, in this fabulous and high-energy act. In a hilarious mix of sketches and stand-up Dani Cabs & Barnie Duncan take us on a wild and raucous journey through the makings of a comedy show, there is a big catch however – one of them is dead.
What follows is an amazingly entertaining hour that jumps between the past and present and sees the pair masterfully nail sketches that range from receiving a new pair of glasses to escaping a yoga retreat. Topped with some great interluding music, the eventual result sees Dani use ropes and staple guns to keep the act alive, because of course the show must always go on.
Carrying a body appears to be exhausting work and Dani Cabs can probably vouch for that. His energy is exhilarating yet you truly must applaud him for spending the entire show either carrying a lifeless Barnie or jumping around the stage keeping the audience on their toes. On the other hand keeping deadly still might not be an easy feat either as Barnie almost collapses on an audience member showing they not only deliver an incredible show but also certainly have fun whilst performing it.
Although the concept is straight-forward there are allusions to the original film that might fall on deaf ears without prior viewing. Though these are few and far between, the show will at least leave you excited to check out the original movie – especially if you are wondering why Barnie stands in a paddling pool throughout.
Furthermore, a slight setback to being lifeless means a lot of time is spent on the floor and leaves some of the back row struggling to see. This however does not shy away from the high quality entertainment factor of the whole show and the incredible talent of the pair.
With one bouncing off the walls whilst the other mostly propped up by them, the chemistry and rapport between the duo is brilliant. It is through this wonderful combination of Dani’s ramped-up energy and Barnie’s blunt and straight-faced performance that leaves the audience roaring with laughter. Weekend at Barnie’s is certainly a refreshing and original take on comedy – it’s interactive, pumped-up humour and definitely one to watch this year.
By Tamara Davison