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Superclump – Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

Superclump are a brand new sketch team, but they come with a fine pedigree. Their engorged cast of nine comprises some of the most hotly-tipped young stand-ups around.

Sketch comedy may be a different beast, but this smart bunch seem on top of this genre, too, producing a fresh, assured and funny debut, with imaginative ideas executed with wit and talent.

There are no grand themes or overarching ‘house style’, which can so often be a problem in defining a sketch group’s identity. But by ensuring that every scene is tightly written and driven by gags, this doesn’t matter – the laughs win through.

Some of the team also bring a surprising physicality to the performance, a trait not always needed in stand-up. Mike Wozniak, who won an if.comedy best newcomer nomination last year for his eloquent monologue, here proves he’s just as good without words, clad in all-over black to be a grand master of kabuki theatre, or miming to an Altered Images track with Henry Paker, whose aloof stand-up persona is similarly abandoned in the successful quest for a laugh.

In this cast of all the talents, its hard to pin down stand-outs, but Welsh fireball Elis James makes for a delightful idiot, whether stripped down to the waist or fully clothed, while the elegantly quirky Nat Luurtsema is always compelling to watch.

The performance skills of the entire cast are backed up by inventive writing that’s offbeat enough to be funny while maintaining a modicum of believability. Favourite scenes include the running gag about banter, the washed-up Aesop struggling to create his next fable, and the Famous Five, now all grown up.

There are a couple of slightly flatter moments, but nothing outstays its welcome, keeping the pace is brisk, but not rushed. It adds to the feeling this is a sketch group awash with youthful vigour and confidence – not to mention a sackful of great ideas.

Review date: 16 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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