Stand Up Spotlight: Comedy and Religion with The Monks

Finding a partner in crime when it comes to comedy is no easy feat. Ideally, you need someone who is on the same page (metaphorically of course, it’s not a big dealbreaker if they write faster than you, unless you really have that fragile an ego) and that you still find funny ( and bearable) after years of writing and performing together. The most common place to meet your comedic other half is university or for the real lovees, theatre school; French and Saunders met at The Central School of Speech and drama, Mitchell and Webb, Armstrong and Miller and Hugh and Laurie met at Cambridge. Kevin and Yazan from sketch comedy duo The Monks however met somewhere you wouldn’t usually expect a comedy partnership to blossom:

“We actually met at church. Church was the first place we performed together. It doesn’t get more rock and roll than that, I think.”

Originally a comedy quartet named “Four Monks and a Nun”, The Monks started performing their christianity- based sketch comedy and stand up to friends and their congregation at church, before slimming down to a duo and deciding to branch out and perform in public:

“Our comedy seemed to go down well at church, and I was keen to take us outside that bubble and see if we could make comedy audiences who weren’t necessarily religious laugh.”

 

Since stepping out of the church and onto the stage with their act two years ago, the comedy duo have already attracted a lot of attention  for their witty and original act, having already won praise from top publications “Time Out” and “The Londonist”, been finalists in this year’s “New Act of the Year” competition and a featured act at London Sketchfest in 2016.

 

Their current show “The All New Ten Commandments” adopts a humorous approach to the commandments listed in the book of exodus and explores their relevance to today’s society through a series of sketches. Can a set of rules touching on subjects such as stealing, murder and adultery be funny? The Monks seem to think so, and set about looking at these ancient laws from a new, comical angle.

It’s very clear from their bite-size comedy chunks on their YouTube channel that The Monks have no trouble finding the funny in any subject, whether it be Tesco banning Ribena or even UKIP. Taking a seemingly serious topic as their base and making light of it is something they obviously do with ease, infusing their performances with sharp wit, bags of energy and hilarious character acting.

 

Having made a promise to themselves to perform at as many Fringe and comedy festivals as possible, apart from Edinburgh “just to be different”, The Monks have been out and about this summer trying to add a few more festivals to the quickly growing list of past performances.  But even as the nights draw in, these two aren’t slowing down for the winter and already have a set of gigs lined up for the coming weeks, so they may be bringing their alternative comedy to a venue near you very soon..

 

 

To find out where the Monks are heading to next check out their website wearethemonks.co.uk

And to sample some of their fine humour, check them out on YouTube at wearethemonks