Ralf Ralf, It's Staring You Right in the Face 2 (The End)

Review in Issue 6-3 | Autumn 1994

Ralf Ralf – brothers Jonathan and Barnaby Stone – opened the Barclays New Stages Festival with their show It’s Staring You Right in the Face 2 (The End). Adapted from a previous 1992 piece, it satirised the television stereotypes of stand-up comedians, game show hosts, TV evangelists, etc. Such persons have oft been lampooned on television comedy shows over the past decade, but it is perhaps rarer to find them in the theatre, and no doubt a deliberate irony was intended. Ralf Ralf’s technique was also very different from anything one would usually find on the television, their work being totally unreliant on text. Through nonsense dialogue that mimicked the pitch, rhythm and diction of their victims, and carefully observed gesture and mannerism, they recreated the stereotypes we know so well, through observation of fleeting details that together make up the aura of a particular type. The absence of explicit text forced the audience to take a more active role than is usual in the comprehension of a physical language that is not customarily presented alone. This made the resulting effect all the more potent. However, whilst much of the show was performed with great élan, the brothers never moved beyond the surface of things. The scenarios were played for laughs, and whilst the sense of humour of this reviewer is not receptive to such things, the general audience hysteria-response was ample. Without the consolation of mirth, the lack of depth, analysis or commentary in the piece soon led to boredom.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 1994

This article in the magazine

Issue 6-3
p. 24