WMD Makes Everything Better | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review by Paul Fleckney
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WMD Makes Everything Better

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review by Paul Fleckney

Fancy seeing some Fringe shows but don’t want your short game to suffer? Then head down to the Golf Tavern, which overlooks a pitch and putt course over by the Meadows. Sure, it’s so far from virtually all other festival venues that you’ll be miles from the nearest on-the-go comedy lover, but at least you won’t get flyered.

I fear that WMD Comedy isn’t the show to see if you’ve had a hard day on the greens. Three young fellas – Ben, Ryan and Tom – gamely attempt to whip up the seven-strong crowd into a frenzy of sketch, but as yet they just don’t have the comedy skills. That choice of name for their group is an early warning sign: ‘weapons of mass destruction’ is a phrase that no other comedy act has uttered for about 15 years, except perhaps Jeremy Hardy

Some of the sketches are dead on arrival, birthed by unfunny premises, such as the unpromising observation that lentils are popular. One sketch is a game show in which the star prize for the female contestant is getting to choose between her two children. That could have been funny, but nothing else really happens and they forgot to include any jokes, it just stops. 

They have much more of a go at their ‘man who lives in a maze’ idea, but none of the writing leads us out of our mirthless dead-end. One sketch is quite ambitious: all three are luvvie actors who speak an educated kind of nonsense. Python might have pulled this off, WMD don’t. 

There are a few green shoots, though, like the sketch about the job interviewee with the CV full of typos, and the teacher who tells it like it is on parents’ evening. There’s a surprisingly good gag about a baseball hat. They are suitably energetic and likeable hosts, too, and have a sense of how to build an hour’s show. 

They gradually filter themselves into having three distinct personalities, with each person wanting a completely different ending to the other. One wants arty, one wants slapstick, and one just wants to be in it. Cue a dramatic split, reconciliation, and a climax that is a deliberately bizarre mishmash of all their desired endings. 

But despite this, the show never makes it above amateur level. The over-riding feeling is that this is three young guys having a go. They do have time on their side – who’s to say that something won’t click for one of them. I can’t bring myself to give 1.5 stars to anyone, but WMD Comedy certainly isn’t a 2…

Review date: 17 Aug 2017
Reviewed by: Paul Fleckney

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