Zach and Tom – Best Friends

I’m just going to say it: Zach and Tom are hilarious. They are also best friends, and they’re at the Fringe to take you on an absurd, bone-rattlingly funny journey through best-friendship, worst-friendship, and everything in between. Through physical comedy and clowning, Zach and Tom bring over-the-top caricatures of themselves, and others, to life.

The pair are raucously energetic, and it seemed like they’d be having as much fun if it was just the two of them alone in a room. Though I suspect there’s been a lot of that, and the show has the appeal of something cobbled together from a bunch of "wouldn’t-it-be-really-funny-if" workshops. This worked for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the self-effacing nature of their not-always-perfect performances. There’s a wink and nod firmly in place here, and it may not work for everyone, but for an audience that gets on board, there’s a lot of fun to be had. Luckily, I was part of one such audience, and the pair’s high-energy and constant audience interaction was catching. From volleyball to balloon-animals, bird-watching to church-going, there’s a lot going on in what are relatively loosely strung together segments, and so needless to say, some worked better than others. There is, however, a unity that I won’t give away, and a heart that lies beneath all the silliness.

Zach and Tom are uniquely individual in their performances, and are just as funny solo as they are together. Zach’s Brad, a 90s Keanu-esque Hollywood ‘arctor’, showed his keen eye developing the kind of over-the-top character you might find on SNL. Tom, meanwhile, was totally engaging and side-splittingly hilarious as the keyboardist from Bon Jovi. Generating so many laughs while doing so little takes a lot of skill, and the nuance of performance, particularly each subtle facial expression, was excellent.

This is the kind of show that Fringe goers should be supporting. A bit absurd, very silly, achingly funny, it’s a bit like goofing around in your friend’s parent’s garage, but with better lighting. Zach and Tom do a lot with the few resources they have, and are clearly talent to look out for.

★★★★