Bob Franklin, Steven Gates & Roz Hammond : The Writers – The Difficult Second Episode

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Bob Franklin, Steven Gates & Roz Hammond : The Writers – The Difficult Second Episode


What should you expect from The Writers? An especially coy listing within the festival guide provides few clues. Fortunately – as most comedy fans will attest – you can’t really go wrong with Bob Franklin, Steven Gates and Roz Hammond. The Writers, a show comprised of humorous detours, is well-worth checking out for that very reason.


Franklin and Gates recapture the magic chemistry that defined Stubborn Monkey Disorder, the pair’s previous festival collaboration. Gates gives an intensely enjoyable performance as a down-on-his-luck dullard, shunned by his wry and increasingly-reluctant writing partner (played by the hilarious Franklin, found entirely in his element). Meanwhile, Roz Hammond again demonstrates her versatility as a performer, assuming separate and distinct characters with ease throughout the show.


The Writers is an unusual beast, with its own peculiar sense of structure. It could even be argued that the show is anti-structure, disassembling and reassembling itself on a whim. While it relies upon just one major setting – Franklin’s visitor-prone house – The Writers insists upon fantastical tangents, indulging in witty wordplay and meta-jokes aplenty. The fourth wall is often broken, tired stage devices are picked to pieces and a genuine sense of ‘anything goes’ silliness colours the the show. The narrative itself is a kind of smokescreen, barely progressing before an absurd finale is presented. It’s ironic, really: the show itself seems like it would have been enormous fun to write.


This ‘difficult second episode’ offers an hour of occasionally smart, occasionally quirky theatre courtesy of three big-name comic performers. If the show’s star-power has you tempted to take a chance, rest assured, you won’t be disappointed: they bring their A-game, boasting great comic timing and chemistry together. While it’s quite not as punchy as traditional stand-up comedy and certainly requires more patience than your average sketch-comedy show, The Writers is wonderfully and uniquely funny. Ultimately, therein lies its charm.