Review – Success: A Success Story, with Kieran and the Joes

Sunday, January 02 2011

Character comedy newcomers Kieran and the Joes have a nice premise – seminars that teach you to be successful in any field. Ben Clover finds out whether it is, erm, successful.

Kieran and the Joes

It’s bad luck to be in London doing motivational speaker character comedy at the same time as Jackson’s Way is in town. But plucky three-piece Kieran and the Joes nonetheless put on a good hour’s not-very-innocent funny.

Although the dynamic between the characters is at first a little too David Brent and Gareth, Success succeeds on its own merits. There are some great lines and great scenes held together by the framing device of a faltering leadership seminar.

The tension comes from the collapse of the partnership between the Joes, and the replacement of the more self-aware one with Kieran, a chalk-eating stump of an acolyte.

The two Joes, both of whom you could imagine in the Apprentice, and their slave soon settle into a winningly depraved groove. And it’s Alan Sugar’s tiny shadow that looms over this show, which has a lot of fun pushing to its limit the catty posturing essayed on the BBC’s car-crash hit.

But the real gems come in the stranger corners of this hour. For example, I hope the deeply upsetting chocolate-taster sketch didn’t come straight from someone’s public school experiences. Although from the audience’s point of view it was money well spent by the victim’s mum and dad.

Overall it’s an enjoyable hour of sketch comedy whose premise holds it together neatly. There is a real chemistry between the lanky alpha-twunt, the David Mellor-looking voice of exasperated sometimes-reason and their squeaking idiot savant. Worth a look.

Three stars


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