revew: WMD Comedy – WMD Makes Everything Better
WMD Makes Everything Better/
Kings Arms, Salford/
WMD Comedy are a stupid bunch of boys and their show, WMD Makes Everything Better epitomises everything you might imagine when told that a bunch of stupid boys have made a comedy sketch show which they’re performing tonight in a room above a pub. I use the words ‘stupid’ and ‘boys’ here not in a derogatory sense but in a god damn i need to laugh sense and I am a stupid boy also. I don’t really go to see comedy. I go to see serious and miserable and ponderous theatre shows which are all clever and thinky and y’know, it’s just a shame. Stupid stuff is great, I should go see more of it.
WMD don’t take themselves seriously and I try not to either (except for a lot of the time) but for the purposes of this revew I’ll still do my usual theatrecritic talking about form and content cos that’s what I do. Maybe this revew will have more levity than usual but honestly any attempts at humour on my part will just feel like a pale hack’s failure to respond to the people who are much better practised at it than him.
WMD Makes Everything Better is an irreverent stockingful of daft upon daft which compresses in my memory into a single mad, slightly drunken experience. We are dragged through a succession of sketches, hurdling such dangerous obstacles as lentils, mannequins and free badges, with judicious graphic depiction of an ejaculating cock, which gets two thumbs up from this disgusting degenerate.
Beneath the sound of me clapping and laughing like a big seal buffoon (can’t guarantee you’ll hear that noise every performance), paying attention will unearth the meta-narrative of these three dudes putting on a show and needing a strong ending. I could tell you that Tom, Ben and Ryan are veritable chameleons, masterfully shifting from character to character in a baffling display of impersonation that tears the viewer from one concrete reality to another. But that wouldn’t be true. Onstage, more than anything else, are three personas, rather than an array of characters. There are levels of reality: we’ve got the Ben, Tom and Ryan who made the show (who are in the bar afterwards); we’ve also got the ‘Ben’, ‘Tom’ and ‘Ryan’ who are ‘performing’ the ‘show’, who are there in front of us and have this slow build of tension that pulls them apart.
I dunno it was just stupid, like gloriously stupid. This is comedy for people who like stupid things. The spectacle is the stupid sketches and the narrative is the relationship between the players. It’s like wrestling – if you’re committed to following wrestling, it’s as much for the hyped-up storylines between the characters as it is for the spectacle of the individual matches right.
There’s something about these forms, wrestling, sketch shows, that refuses to insult the audience’s intelligence by insisting what is happening in front of them is real or accurate. They’re not trying to trick us, because what would the point in that be? The beauty in theatre is that invitation to come into a space and collectively imagine. The construction of these three boys putting on a show that needs to be high art is just a vehicle for us all sitting together and having a nice time for a bit. Bit saccharine yeh but between doing lots of laughs and having some beer after I had a lovely time.