Comedy

REVIEW: Julia Masli and the Duncan Brothers present Logs, Soho Theatre, London

I’ve seen Legs Comedy do Logs twice in one week. Does that make me a Logs ultra? The first time was a mere ten minutes of wood at ACMS. 

Tonight was the full, burning, forest of their hour long show at Soho Theatre, at the pleasingly wild time of 9:15pm (Forests are primal places, and this ludicrous show makes more sense the closer one gets to the witching hour). 

Due to a phone / bar geographical mistake, we arrived late and so missed the show’s opening, whereby our players make their way through the audience, breaking any ice or indeed distance between performer and audience with their mantra and their tingling of tiny bells. 

We heard this from the other side of a determinedly shut door, which if anything added to the sense of anticipation undercut with a mild dose of hysterical foreboding. All this, and from three people saying bits of the word  “logs” a lot nearby.

Julia Masli, alongside brothers Robert and Andrew Duncan, are Legs Comedy, whose show was a hit of the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe in the before times. 

For months now, they have been logs, this beautiful creation about science, nature and puns so terrible but so beautifully presented they become profound. Or at least, profoundly stupid.

Either way, we laughed. A lot.

I don’t want to give too much away, as they’re performing the show til Saturday and my intention writing this is to encourage you to see it, but to psychologically prepare you there are some things I can reveal.

First: there are costume changes, props, and laughs from mere glances or deadpan statements. Masli, who mainly plays the eponymous log through seasons and tragic revelations, is a playful, understated clown, who can elicit a laugh from a hesitant glance or an intentionally awkward smile.

One aspect of this show I love is how intentionally ramshackle it is. There are bits within that are clumsy, scenes that seem designed to be awkward, or to go wrong in a way that’s as funny as can be. 

Andrew, for example, as a pointy headed log scientist, drags out a Pratchettian scene far longer than he has any right to, aided only by some crude drawings, moderate audience interaction and a determination to take stupid thoughts to their unnatural conclusions.

The assorted costume changes are held together by the reassuring presence of Robert, as much as someone can be reassuring with a log cabin on his head. 

He explains technology or ecology or how the whole show was a terrible whimsical accident with real charm and a skill for awkward-clumsy audience interaction and a rare timing for improvising around random noises, arrivals, or accidents. 

There is also an extremely stupid scene of brotherly rivalry which elicits genuine awwwws amid the laughs.

I can’t recommend LOGS enough. If the rumours are true, this week is the last chance you’ll get to see these three inspired idiots dressed in bits of bark. We wood strongly urge you to head on down to Soho and em-bark on a magical and stupid voyage (on a ship, also made of… oh, you get the idea).

Legs Comedy perform Logs at Soho Theatre on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th November 

Rating: ***** 5 stars

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