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Review: Pear: But Braver at the FRINGE Pleasure Garden

Review by Emily Smith

Pear: But Braver is the second show by Patrick and Hugo McPherson at Perth’s FRINGE Festival. In response to a reviewer who called the comedy of their first show, Pear, “not brave”, the identical twins have endeavoured to create a sketch comedy show brave enough to satisfy even the grumpiest audience member. 

The English twins are both six foot seven, full of energy, and have their own ideas of what a comedy show looks like. As they went through their checklist of what makes a comedy show ‘brave’ the distinction between what was a sketch and what was introductory banter blurred, and their characters bled into their stage personas with hilarious results. We enjoyed sketches based on a diverse range of topics including beloved children’s books, role-playing gone wrong, and what they see as Northbridge’s adorable police force.

My favourite has to be the AI Powered Privilege Calculator, where posh nobs Patrick and Hugo checked their privilege and scrambled to find aspects of themselves that were relatable to the masses. I also wept myself silly watching Patrick try to clean up the stage without the use of his hands thanks to a prop (no spoilers) that rendered them unusable. Their self-deprecating humour is classically British and their attempts at various accents (including a pretty decent Aussie one) kept us – and them – laughing for the entire hour. They were clearly having ball on stage, riffing off each other and the audience, and were not worried about breaking character when one went off-script. Comparing the show with a friend who went on a different night came up with quite different results as various sketches were improvised over and led off on a tangent so we never knew what to expect next. One sketch was cut short because an improvised South African accent from Hugo was so ridiculous neither of them could keep it together to get their lines out. 

Fair warning, the show does include audience interaction if you are sat in the front row, or if you volunteer for it. Three audience members got the chance to get involved with the chaotic sketches, and on the night I went the volunteers were so funny and committed to the bit the twins felt the need to assure us we they weren’t plants. One sketch that attempted to satisfy the condition of ‘brave’ comedy that it “confronts the audience” got a participant involved who was given a reckless amount of freedom with a bag of (gluten-free) flour, and he had a whale of a time making a mess. The twins showed their willingness to sacrifice their dignity for the sake of entertainment, and I rather regret not volunteering for the role myself.

Throw your expectations out the window when seeing this chaotic duo bounce of each other and the audience with gleeful energy, ribbing each other in the way only brothers can and creating an authentically funny hour of comedy.

Chairs breaking, forgotten lines, and a bad case of the giggles only added to the fun had in The Parlour tent in Perth’s Pleasure Garden, and I urge everyone to snap up tickets to Pear: But Braver before FRINGE is over for 2024.

Image Supplied


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