Morgana Robinson's The Agency. Morgana Robinson. Copyright: Happy Tramp Productions
Morgana Robinson's The Agency

Morgana Robinson's The Agency

  • TV sketch show
  • BBC Two
  • 2016
  • 6 episodes (1 series)

Impressionism sketch show starring Morgana Robinson as the stars of talent agency Mann Management. Also features Cavan Clerkin, Gemma Whelan, Perry Benson, Seb Cardinal, Rebecca Humphries and Claire Skinner

Press clippings Awards 2016 shortlists announced

The shortlists for the Awards 2016 have been revealed. 60 shows are in the running for the Comedy Of The Year title. Voting is now open.

British Comedy Guide, 16th January 2017

This is more than just an impressions show. The writing is so sharp, the script can carry some of the impersonations that miss the mark.

The Sun, 3rd October 2016

'Natalie Cassidy' is the star of the show again this week. Morgana Robinson obviously knows she's her best impression and she's not afraid to milk it. Tonight, Natalie's agent rings her with some fantastic news: Morgan Freeman is auditioning female actresses for a role in his new film and she's been invited to attend. The role is perfect for her: she's to play a cockney astronaut. But she can't find anyone to look after her grumpy old dad (he's actually my favourite character in tonight's show) so she'll have to take him with her to meet Morgan Freeman, but he's stuffed in his armchair, refusing to "go up London". We also see Cheryl Cole who's through with worthless men and is trying to find a new soulmate with various pets, but neither the cute wee dog nor the tortoise can seem to understand her emotional needs.

Julie McDowall, The National (Scotland), 3rd October 2016

This mock doc - following a talent agency's celeb clients, all of whom are played by Robinson - seems on the surface to be subtler than most impression shows. In its second episode, though, it suffers familiar diminishing returns. Each character has one weekly variation on their one basic joke: if that's not funny, the whole thing's a grind. Tonight, Mel and Sue (though you couldn't tell it was supposed to be them) decide to try some time apart.

Jack Seale, The Guardian, 3rd October 2016

In Morgana Robinson's The Agency impressionist imagines that all of the celebrities that she mimics are represented by the same agent. The agent in question is Vincent Mann (Calvin Clerkin) who runs the wittily titled Mann Management and looks constantly exasperated by his client base. Those of us who'd watched Robinson's previous shows such as The Morgana Show and Very Important People will recognise the majority of the impressions here with Fearne Cotton, Adele and Cheryl Cole being some of Vincent's many clients. However the main focus of the first episode of this mockumentary focused primarily on Eastenders actress Natalie Cassidy as she prepared for the National Television Awards. I felt Morgana did well in crafting a story for the put-upon Cassidy who tried her best to look after her family whilst at the same time being a famous soap actress. Robinson's performance presented the fictional Cassidy in an incredibly sympathetic light and I felt she was also able to impersonate her mannerisms perfectly. The same can't be said for Robinson's impression of Danny Dyer which certainly wasn't nearly as nuanced and instead involved her shouting in a cockney accent. The story in which Dyer also tried to become a children's author wasn't that amusing and most of the gags were pretty obvious. It didn't help that Robinson's Danny Dyer sounded incredibly similar to her Gregg Wallace and if she wasn't made up to look like each of them then I think you'd struggle to spot the difference. The other prominent storyline in this first episode saw Vincent try to secure some stage work for Miranda Hart to broaden her range. Unfortunately Miranda couldn't deal with the Pinter material without launching into her comedy routine, irritating both the director and her co-stars in the process. Whilst I found Robinson's Miranda impression to be quite impressive, the story itself was quite obvious and as an audience member I knew exactly where it was going. Overall I found The Agency to be incredibly hit-and-miss and if hadn't been for the well-imagined Natalie Cassidy segments I may not have made it through the entire episode. Although I do feel Robinson is a talented impressionist, I don't think The Agency works as well as it should and as there's six more episodes to go I can't see myself sticking around for any more.

Matt, The Custard TV, 2nd October 2016

Morgana Robinson's The Agency is funny. Her impersonations are often uncanny, particularly those of Natalie Cassidy and The Bake-Off's Mel and Sue. And her show isn't a stand-up, Rory Bremner-style impressionism where she stands at a mic. Instead, she weaves it into a loose story where the celebrities are represented by a talent agency, Mann Management, and she presents it as a documentary about the company.

But even though I laughed, particularly at the cruel Natalie Cassidy segments, I was left feeling slightly empty afterwards because isn't it a bit of a waste to use that huge talent for impressionism on such a flimsy figure as "Sonia from EastEnders". Of course, that was part of the joke: she's only little old Sonia yet thinks she's a great star, but I wanted to yell at Robinson to turn her firepower on bigger, more deserving, targets.

It must be harder these days to do political impersonations as politicians are so bland and "on-message", and mavericks and colourful characters rarely slip through the antiseptic net. You can't do an impression of a bland person who's been planed smooth by the party PR machine yet, in a world where politics has thrown up Trump, Brexit and the tortuous splitting of the Labour Party, aren't things changing? And where are the comedians and satirists ready to react to that change?

Julie McDowall, The National (Scotland), 1st October 2016

Morgana Robinson's The Agency, a new sketch/impressionist show, uses a narrative format to showcase her talents. It's set in Mann Management, a talent agency run by Cavan Clerkin's Vincent, who has let documentary cameras in; Robinson plays his clients.

Some impressions work better than others - Robinson's Natalie Cassidy (Sonia from EastEnders), Cheryl Cole and Fearne Cotton are uncannily good - while others (Danny Dyer, Gregg Wallace) are surprisingly off the mark. Where last night's opener (of seven) did score, however, was in the fantastical writing (five writers are credited) - imagining an endlessly disappointing suburban existence for the always optimistic Cassidy, or the rather creepy menage imagined in the scenes chez Mel and Sue, where Mel's husband has to grit his teeth at their relentless punning.

Veronica Lee, The Arts Desk, 28th September 2016

Review: comedy secret Dick Emery could teach Morgana

The variety is so broad that it's impossible to watch her, in or out of character, without thinking: 'I've seen her in something else...'

Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail, 27th September 2016

Morgana Robinson's The Agency review

With clever impressions of Miranda Hart and Danny Dyer, this show about a talent agency is just what we need in this strife-strewn year.

Lucy Mangan, The Guardian, 27th September 2016

Morgana Robinson profile

Who is Morgana Robinson, when is The Agency next on and what would Mel and Sue think of her impressions?

The Sun, 27th September 2016

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