The global speaker bureau
Neil Edmond, Justin Edwards and James Rawlings are The Consultants, three men in suits who garnered a best newcomer gong at last year's Edinburgh fringe. They have since been poached by Radio 4, and you can see - or hear - why.
These are comedians you could comfortably take home to meet your mum. That is not to suggest blandness: at its best, their new sketch show is a giddy combination of delicacy and sharp wit. But for every winning skit here, there is one that's straight out of a duff student revue.
The trio kick off well in their characters of The Consultants, three dapper businessmen mouthing inane, slightly skewed platitudes. The opening sketch imagines the threesome fending off corporate damage claims from nursery-rhyme characters. Fairytale verse is dizzyingly integrated into business-speak.
The Consultants would be well advised to pitch a more permanent camp on this fertile terrain between comedy and poignancy. The show's most exquisite moment sees Edwards strum his guitar and sing a ditty about library-bound love. Not only is it a lyrical delight, replete with literary puns - "I was Graham Greene with envy," "We fell JK Rowling to the floor" - but Edwards performs it with a Coward-esque quiver of suppressed emotion that twangs the heartstrings. An hour of memorable hits.
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