Kristen Schaal And Kurt Braunohler, Assembly @ George Street, Edinburgh Festival

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The Independent Culture

New York comedy scene darlings and all-round kooky kids Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler serve up an erratic mix of knockabout double-act banter and sketches in Double Down Hearts, to little avail.

The show's recurring motif is their new play, presented in reverse-act order. It's all melodramatic froth and really only there to be referred to in their opening exchanges, and to feed a moment of showy bitterness from Braunohler about how Broadway rejected them.

The Olive Oyl-like Schaal and Braunohler develop their relationship in a series of other sketches, including a phone sex scene with Schaal as Pocahontas ("that's hot, that's 'burn down all your crops' hot," she's told by Braunohler) and a scene where Braunohler decides Schaal needs to start dating and picks an audience member to fulfil the role of suitor. This is by far the most effective part of the show, due to the improvisational skills of the duo, but also because of the audience member's willingness to play along.

With nice flourishes here and there, Double Down Hearts never hits a lull as such, but it never reaches the heights that both these performers seem to promise, with expectations high after Schaal's previous Fringe shows.

To 23 August (0131-623 3030)

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