Horne & Corden – Teenage Cancer Trust show received high marks

Horne and Corden

Horne and Corden

James Corden and Mat Horne performed live for the Teenage Cancer Trust on Sunday night. Drawing on characters and sketches from their much-maligned, eponymous sketch comedy, the duo wowed audiences and critics alike, bringing “high energy” to a “showbiz miracle.”

Horne & Corden began it’s six-episode run earlier in the month and was quickly slammed hard by critics. Yet the premiere episode set a record for audience on BBC3 and the show is rumored to be green lit for a second series. And a promotion to BBC2, which would mark the fastest-yet transition from the digital station to one of the main broadcast channels.

Their performance at Albert Hall was met with greater success. Bruce Dessau from thisislondon.co.uk writes,

At their best they raised the roof. Corden’s rapidfire rapping (“I’ve always had time for my rhyme”) showed he can rattle off neat lines at will when he has them. His public school oaf Xander also slipped down well as he clambered through the audience.”

Though his critic is measured and mixed (“trading heavily on high energy rather than high quality”), Dessau rated the program 3 out of 5 stars.

Over at  The Telegraph, Dominic Cavendish shares more optimism,

…the pair bounded onto the Albert Hall stage with undaunted devil-may-care, acting for all the world like adored messiahs not newborn pariahs, and they were met with undisguised, and very vocal, affection from the crowd. If this was a make-or-break night, they could still count on their fans’ indulgence – but they didn’t need to. They rose to the occasion and delivered the funnies. You could almost hear a collective sigh of relief go up.

Those who trashed their BBC3 sketch-show might have cared to see how some of its characters work in a live context – which is very well indeed.”

For Horne and Corden it no doubt marked a welcome, happy end to what had been a difficult month. Aside from the launch and subsequent critical mauling of their sketch show, the pair also puts behind them the premiere and subsequent critical mauling of their new film, Lesbian Vampire Killers.

Horne and Corden have promised to “disappear” for awhile and let the public catch their breath. Still, we hope they don’t wait too long. If anything, the TCT evening proved that their fans continue to enjoy their work.

SOURCE: thisislondon; “Horne and Corden shrug off savagings with enthusiasm;” Dessau, Bruce; 30 March 2009

SOURCE: The Telegraph; “Matthew Horne and James Corden on stage, review;” Cavendish, Dominic; 30 March 009

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2 Comments

  1. Jon
    March 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    The Mail reports that Mat Horne’s evening wasn’t as enjoyable – having lost £1500 in his wallet in his cab.

    To heap on the pain, The Mail critic, didn’t find the boys’ performance as redeeming as others, “Only our hosts, recreating characters from their recent(ly panned) sketch show Horne & Corden, occasionally let the side down. ”

  2. Jon
    March 30, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    The Guardian reviewer, Brian Logan, also gave the live Horne & Corden very low marks. His final paragraph sums it up best,

    There’s no spark, no dynamic relationship between the two to generate tension or comedy. Nor is there sensitivity, warmth – or the sense of one’s own ridiculousness from which comedy springs. Their final sketch, in which two frilly magicians flounce around, performing crap tricks to a bombastic soundtrack, suggests they can’t even make basic silliness funny. “Everybody is going down on you,” sing their Young People’s Church alter egos, with forced innuendo. But it’s Horne and Corden who are going down – and fast. Surely they can’t sink further.”

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