A useful comedy trope is to set audience expectations early on by outlining how the show will run, and Anne Edmonds and Lloyd Langford kick off their hour-long performance –Business with Pleasure – with the usual descriptions: the pair will joke together, separately and then together again.
From the get-go the crowd seems tired and somewhat disengaged but Edmonds and Langford do what comedians do best – they take the sombre mood and turn it into a recurring improvised joke throughout their set, ultimately winning over the audience.
Edmonds lures the crowd in with her larger-than-life physical humour, crude jokes and exaggerated facial expressions, using Melbourne’s lockdown as the basis for her stories. Punctuated by off-stage heckles from Langford, her fast-past, self-assured style makes her very watchable.
A section on Edmonds’ experience on a failed reality-television show has the audience in tears and highlights why the Have You Been Paying Attention? regular has become one of Australia’s top comedians.
Where Edmonds is all wild gestures, Langford is physically still, employing a more traditional brand of stand-up. His style of comedy is thoughtful and leads to great one-liners but he seems just as comfortable with off-the-cuff, observational jokes.
The contrast between the pair is jolting at first, and works best when they are on stage together, developing a comedic rhythm. Bantering as couples do, it often feels as though they are back in their one-bedroom apartment in Melbourne, giving us a joyous glimpse into their hilarious life.
Together, Edmonds and Langford are a clever and highly entertaining pair who mix business with pleasure for an hour of glee.
Anne Edmonds & Lloyd Langford – Business With Pleasure is at the Garden of Unearthly Delights until February 28.
Read more Adelaide Fringe reviews and previews here.
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This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.