The 1 Like Fish
Topping & Butch
Two Episodes Of MASH
On Russell Howard's Good News
More Tom Craine videos
|On Russell Howard's Good News|
Jigsaw: Fringe 2012
This sketch threesome (Dan Antopolski, Tom Craine, Nat Luurtsema) fit sketches around themselves, and not vice-versa, while their easy charm goes a long, long way to lift individually enjoyable sketches into a satisfying whole.
This ease is underlined by the way the three morph into scenes: often using the space they ended up in the last sketch as their starting point for their next one. Having a screen decorated with an logo that gives them a kind of New Avengers identity, rather than using the wings for changes, also gives them a sophisticated zip.
Without getting fixated on surreal concepts, analogous skits, interpersonal shenanigans or an overarching narrative, the trio are free to fly through a landscape of characters with unexpected behavioural quirks. There's the man who dupes people into getting a semen sample from him, the therapist who slyly uses funk music to help his patients (carried off with a convincing amount of loopyness and not overdone), and a sex addict friend who can't resist making juvenile ginger motions to simulate sex…
What's refreshing is that, for the most part, the characters are all low-status, no newsreaders, no motivational speakers, no policemen or detectives; Jigsaw’s collectively warm and casual style wouldn’t suit pompousness or self-importance.
There’s limited off-the-ball spontaneity, but when it does come –for example in response to three of the front row leaving for the loo – it is all the more impactful for its authenticity.
It’s rare to see performers have so much fun without enforced corpsing, and the simplicity of the ideas must make them fun to perform rather than dreading some very clever-clever set piece that has to be delivered off pat every night.
Perhaps the most complicated set piece is where Craine and Luurtsema have to explain why Antopolski’s pet mouse has died. The chain of events proves great fun and it must make it a joy to deliver each night, without it ever sounding convoluted.
Easy, breezy and sometimes quite cheesy, Jigsaw are a refreshing Fringe stop among shouty sketch and theme-strangled stand up.
|Date of live review: Tuesday 14th Aug, '12|
Review by Julian Hall
Tuesday 9th Aug, '11-
Saturday 28th Aug, '10-
Superclump – Fringe 2009
Sunday 16th Aug, '09-
Tom Craine: Comfort Blanket - Fringe 2009
Saturday 8th Aug, '09-
I just didn't get it... He was trying too hard but it just wasn't funny, and was almost awkward.
Tom Craine absolutely died a death at the Komedia in Brighton on Saturday 31st Jan 2010. The audience was too polite to boo or jeer but the complete silence that greeted every unfunny gag was excruciating - and he knew it. Back to the drawing board young Tom. Sorry chum, the material just wasn't funny.
This guy just keeps getting better and better. A great comic.
Wonderful. One of the best acts I've seen in a long time.
Excellent. A fantastic comedian.
AAA Stand-up 
Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Tom Craine: Comfort Blanket
Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Chortle Presents Fast Fringe [Edinburgh 2010]
Tom Craine: Choirboy To Addict And Back Again
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Jigsaw: Gettin' Jiggy
Edinburgh Fringe 2013
Jigsaw: Jiggle It
Tom Craine: Crying On A Waltzer