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EDINBURGH 2023: Review: JOE & RORY PRESENTS TELEVISION 1, Assembly George Square Studios

Don't miss the joy of this TV-inspired sketch show at the Assembly George Square Studios

By: Aug. 19, 2023
Edinburgh Festival
EDINBURGH 2023: Review: JOE & RORY PRESENTS TELEVISION 1, Assembly George Square Studios  Image
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EDINBURGH 2023: Review: JOE & RORY PRESENTS TELEVISION 1, Assembly George Square Studios  ImageIt’s shows like this that are the epitome of the Fringe for me. 

In a small room deep in the Assembly George Square Studios, sketch comedians and filmmakers Joe and Rory are up to all sorts of mischief under the guise of keeping television history alive in their show TELEVISION 1. 

The duo burst onto the stage to start their story in the 1950s – right at the dawn of the UK’s Channel 1 – and proceed to parody every decade since (and still to come) with a mix of on-stage and on-screen sketches that poke fun at the television stereotypes of the day. From Watch with Mother and Blue Peter (or, as they call it, Red Paul) to the Two Ronnies and Trinny & Susannah, each gets the Joe and Rory treatment, and the result is hilarious.     

A bit like a fever dream at points, this is a jovial whip through 100 years at breakneck speed, with parodies you can’t help but recognise and love, despite them having a distinctly different tinge to the original. 

The high point is definitely the pair’s brilliant on-stage chemistry, which delivers some hilarious reenactments and cracking lines. I also loved the seamless jumps from screen to stage, and additional characters including the TV critics with their academic (but heavily tongue-in-cheek) reflections, upside-down, dark-rimmed glasses compulsory.

The low point was the ‘pee’ in an otherwise-brilliant sketch about incel culture that made my cheeks hurt and my left-wing sentiments happy. But, in a show that proudly has no message, no point and no heart, it’s still a relief to laugh with pure abandon at a blissful 60 minutes of silliness.  

My only regret is that there weren’t more people sharing in the Joe and Rory joy. If you’ve ever watched TV, you’ll find much to giggle about at their debut live sketch show. Add it to your schedule.  

Runs until 27 August at 22.20 at Assembly George Square Studios 



 

 




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