Review: Harry and Chris Save the World @ Frog and Bucket Comedy Club, Manchester

Family friendly comedy can be a little difficult to get right these days.

Go too safe, and you end up with a boring set. Too edgy or blue, and you get the tuts and huffs of outraged parents.

Harry Baker and Chris Read can hardly be said to have gone too safe. Now midway through their third UK tour, the duo’s unique ‘comedy-rap-jazz’ stylings made for a thoroughly pleasant evening of wholesome, clever wordplay.

It may not leave you with split sides, but you can hardly help leaving with a smile on your face.

Harry, a world champion slam poet and Chris, an accomplished jazz musician, have developed something of a following and play to their audience well.

Pandas, Teletubbies, and Beyoncé

Their Beyoncé x Teletubbies mashup was as smart as it was unexpected, the audience-prompted freestyle sections built a real rapport between performer and crowd and their song ‘Eats, Shoots, Leaves’ – from the perspective of Edinburgh Zoo panda Tian Tian, naturally – is an undeniable earworm.

There was a playful feel to the whole affair; there is no chance either of these clearly talented artists take their abilities too seriously, and both pass the litmus test of being someone you’d like to go to the pub with.

The overriding message of their work is one of optimism and positivity, and you do certainly find yourself getting on board with it.

Three claps and four groans

Whether it is their unflappable enthusiasm, World Cup flashbacks, or relentless punnery, there was something there to win round even the most stone-hearted among the audience.

‘Three claps and four groans’ was one of the stand-out lines of the evening, throwaway as it may have been; you can see Harry’s genuine pleasure when he stumbles across a particularly cringeworthy pun.

You could say that some of the numbers drag a little towards the end of the show, and relying on the comedic input of the audience for Harry’s freestyle is a dangerous game.

But it isn’t a show that leaves you wanting to pick fault. It puts a smile on your face, Chris’ lilting rendition of Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World casting a warm glow over an audience about to head back out into a cold November night.

What more could you want from an evening of comedy rap jazz?

Related Articles