Dick Biscuit: More than crumbs of comfort

Indie band Sulk on stage at Monteys in Harrogate. (Picture by Simon Johnston)
Indie band Sulk on stage at Monteys in Harrogate. (Picture by Simon Johnston)

Review by Graham Chalmers

Dick Biscuit, Harrogate Comedy Festival, Harrogate Theatre.

If I’d been wearing a hat I would have taken it off for Dick Biscuit.

This surreal creation by two young former Harrogate men now based in London, one an indie musician with the band Sulk, the other a web publisher, is so audaciously freewheeling the delivery has to be good - and it is.

Although a duo, Dick Biscuit is essentially a one-man show.

As the wittily deadpan narrator, Andrew Needle is unseen throughout, leaving his comic partner Richard Hardisty alone on stage for a full hour with only a small table and a screen showing South Park-style cartoons occasionally.

The plot in this thoroughly deconstructed noir detective story is almost irrelevant, it’s where the duo’s flights of fancy go that matters and they certainly travels far and wide.

The humour ranges from the clever to the dumb, the mature to the juvenile, the satirical to the utterly pointless.

The results are mixed; one minute approaching sublime, the next moment almost embarassingly ridiculous.

Is Dick Biscuit cult comedy Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace with Matt Berry or Death in Paradise with Ben Miller or, perhaps, Chris Morris’s Brass Eye?

No matter. What counts is that Richard Hardisty has the strength of character, fleetness of mind and rubberiness of face to pull it all together with real aplomb.

That in itself is not bad going when you consider this is a homecoming gig and he’s looking straight at the whites of the eyes of his own relatives right in front of him in the intimate confines of Harrogate Theatre’s bijou studio.

A triumph of imagination run wild, Richard and Andrew’s Dick Biscuit production show is a hit and miss affair but so was Monty Python and The Goodies and so in the deep mists of time were The Goons.