****.5 Stars

By Adam Rafferty

 Having been a regular at the festival for the last ten years or thereabouts, Anne Edmonds would be familiar to Melbourne audiences for her very Aussie brand of self-deprecating humour and – particularly in the case of her character ‘Helen Bidou’ – outrageous wackiness. By contrast, Welsh comedian Lloyd Langford’s style is quite deadpan and dark to the point of wickedly funny blackness. While he has also appeared at the festival for some years, he was perhaps less recognised locally until he began appearing on Channel 10’s Have You Been Paying Attention. Even less well known was that the pair were a couple.

Having spent the Melbourne lockdown stuck in their two-bedroom apartment together you’d be forgiven for thinking that the last thing they’d want to do when restrictions lifted is work together as well. Thankfully, their relationship survived the test – well at least for the moment – and they’ve assembled a kind of stand-up show you don’t see too often, the romantically involved comedy duo. On paper, their two styles don’t look like they’d gel, in reality their playful chemistry is like comedic touchpaper, igniting unexpected stories, jokes and jibes that spark so successfully they literally have to pull themselves up from overrunning.

The pair start on stage together, introducing their relationship and providing personal details of their journey towards parenthood and the associated fertility troubles, before each does a short solo set of their own – not without uninvited offstage comments from whichever is not onstage. Finally, they rejoin to answer audience questions, submitted prior to the show via a massive QR code hung over the stage before the opening. (Who knew it would take a pandemic for QR codes to finally find their usefulness?)

Both comedians touch on their relationship in their routines and make hilarious fun of their own particular foibles: Eddo’s tendency to be consciously, yet almost involuntarily annoying (arancini ball anyone?), Langford’s unintentional creepiness and desire to always go for the saltiest joke possible – not a great attribute to have when talking to children! Oh, and if you watched any of Channel 7’s 2019 reality stinker The Real Dirty Dancing, Eddo has an anecdote for you worth the price of entry alone.

Sharing the spotlight makes this very funny hour (or a bit more if they don’t control themselves) fly by. Here’s hoping Langford and Edmonds stay together at least long enough to bring us another dose of laughter next year.