mon 10/08/2020

Rob and Romesh vs Ballet, Sky 1 review - unlikely lads throw themselves in as bait | reviews, news & interviews

Rob and Romesh vs Ballet, Sky 1 review - unlikely lads throw themselves in as bait

Rob and Romesh vs Ballet, Sky 1 review - unlikely lads throw themselves in as bait

The ballet world survives slapstick no-hopers

Bumbling balletomanes Ranganathan and Beckett

The odd-couple comedy duo is a time-tested concept, and Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan have discovered a chemistry that works. Rob is the giggling excitable one, while Romesh, aided by a sleepy right eye which conveys a sense of harsh judgmentalism, adds a blast of deadpan scepticism.

Previously, the pair have squared up to such topics as Usain Bolt, fashion and country music, but they started this second series (Sky 1) with a leap off a very high cliff. They decided they were going to perform in a ballet, and persuaded Birmingham Royal Ballet to let them have a go at appearing in Swan Lake.

Real ballet dancers undergo a training regime that would make even sprinters and footballers blanch, but Rob and Romesh look as though they think a gym is where you go for a few pints and a pizza. Their plan with these shows is that they throw themselves in as bait, their slapstick ineptitude making their subjects look heroic by comparison, but you had to admire their bravery as they squeezed into training costumes which revealed a pair of bodies from the Pavarotti school of athleticism. “We look like s***,” grunted Romesh bleakly. Worse was to come when they were forced to jump, screaming, into a muscle-soothing ice bath.

Yet, incredibly, Rob displayed glimmers of grace and timing as the ballet master ran them through a few moves, and immediately got carried away. “If I lose two stone and get ripped, I’ve got a new career!” he fantasised. This prompted a bit of shrewd psychoanalysis from Romesh, pointing out that Rob always says they're comic no-hopers in it together, unless he finds he’s quite good at something, whereupon he morphs into “an absolute wanker” and “it becomes all about succeeding”.

It didn’t matter in the end, because the lads were shocked to find their already minimal stage roles had been downgraded to even tinier ones. “As far as I was concerned we were ballet dancers,” pouted Rob, in a pained tone. But you have to remember that all this masochistic torment is a win-win for our two anti-heroes – we get to laugh, and Rob and Romesh get a big boost for their burgeoning showbusiness careers.

At least they had the consolation of meeting dance superstar Carlos Acosta (pictured above), the new director of the Birmingham company. He was like “Messi and Ronaldo rolled into one,” raved football-mad Rob, as Carlos surveyed the unlikely lads with an incredulous expression. Can’t wait for the episodes where they try to play cricket with the England team.

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