Children’s entertainers and bungalow dwellers alike gaze in amazement at what duo Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood have achieved during their 22 year careers. You are reminded of watching them as children on the television and the shenanigans that would go down during Dick & Dom in da Bungalow. When ‘da bungalow’ is mentioned by Dom during Dick v Dom, you hear the cheer of a dozen or so 20-somethings who are holding back tears of joy as they watch two childhood icons cast their spell on a new audience.
Only the sternest of individuals will fail to crack a smile at Dick v Dom. They have toured the show across the UK before but this marks the duo’s very first time at the Edinburgh Fringe. Taking the same format as the TV show that guaranteed their fame, the two presenters go up against each other in a selection of bizzare, and often messy, challenges involving custard pies, blenders and – of course – bogies! The audience play a vital role, kids and their parents getting dragged on stage to make voluntary fools of themselves, all under the adjudicating eye of referee Mr Prank (Glen Davies) – borrowed from the more recent CBBC show Bear Behaving Badly. Where is this hour-long fest of splattery and nonsense to be found? In the spotless and esteemed setting of McEwan Hall, obviously.
This kind of immature and crude humour is the kind of thing that in many ways should appeal only to children of a young age, and some parents may still tut away in disapproval. Happily, that is overwhelmingly not the case, and many adults would happily charge in front of a child in the queue if it means getting a better seat. This is an all-ages extravaganza that leaves you wheezing with laughter, even those who would think themselves above such humour. That being said, Dick and Dom get surprisingly risque with their jokes considering the age of the audience. Some gags can take a double meaning depending on the age of the person listening. It is a brilliant touch that ensures everyone is engaged.
Fuelling the action are the two hosts, and the chemistry between Dick and Dom never disappoints. They zip around the stage like they are twenty years younger than they are – although at just 41 and 40 years old, they are hardly pushing retirement – and are so clearly having an amazing time themselves. During the show, the two constantly crack each other up, surprise one another, and manage to keep the performance at a high intensity. Seeing these two have a ball is the most joyous thing about the entirety of Dick v Dom, especially for those who grew up watching them on the small screen. If they are having the time of their lives on that stage, then so are you in the crowd.
Dick and Dom have delivered a show for all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities. They are part of a surprisingly small club of well-known children’s entertainers – a club that got smaller when the tragic death of Barry Chuckle was announced yesterday morning. Laying their debt to the Chuckle Brothers firmly on the table, Dick and Dom dedicate their show to his memory, a touching finale to an all-round fantastic show that we should make the most of while we can.
Dick and Dom: Dick v Dom
Underbelly Bristo Square – McEwan Hall (Venue 302)
Photo Credit: Impressive PR