Witt ‘n Camp at Soho Theatre
It seems in recent years theatres have become accustomed to housing comedy aimed at inebriated audiences that aren’t very funny or sharp, which is sadly the case for tonight’s performance. Part burlesque, part character comedy, this sketch show fails to be funny, though many found it hilarious in their seemingly intoxicated state.
Charlie Howitt (Witt) and Holly Campbell (Camp) make up the eccentric duo, appearing as two police officers, Witt reaching in and taking out the bra of her partner, followed by the removal of trousers to reveal fishnet stockings. The pair begin flirting with a woman from the audience, assumedly their friend – though it is unclear – handing her a triangle to play. Proceeding to sing a track that makes use of the now famous “uh oh uh oh” verse by Beyoncé, the double-act joke that the superstar “doesn’t own that”. The show is a mish-mash of arbitrary stories with no real focal point, but that may be the idea.
In one sketch piece, Howitt and Campbell perform as two mawkish Irish chickens trying to get over a rooster named Steve, Witt awkwardly crouching to lay an egg. The show was improved by the cabaret performers’ portrayal of two “hip-hopera” singers, Wittundra and Deborah, wearing masquerade masks and attacking each other passive-aggressively, perhaps attempting to highlight how some women like to humiliate and condescend to one another. Through this catty spectacle, the pair cover songs from Akon and Michael Jackson, their versatile singing deserving the most credit tonight.
There’s no doubt Howitt and Campbell are talented vocalists, yet the pair seem to rely heavily on flirting with audience members, which is rather a hackneyed device, as is the striptease, burlesque though it may be. A hyper-sexualised breastfeeding scene where Camp begins undressing, bringing out a feather boa, handcuffs, a baby doll and breast pump, only reiterates how the show attempts to be uplifting but only ever turns out asinine. As Witt states, “Don’t ask us to explain the show, we aren’t culpable. You chose to be here,” it’s almost apologetic, in case some of us didn’t enjoy it as much as we expected having read previous rave reviews, which in hindsight are bewildering.
Photo: Courtesy of Witt ‘n Camp
Witt ‘n Camp was at Soho Theatre from 16th until 18th May 2019.