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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Scenes Of A Sketchual Nature
A hefty serving of fast-paced sleazed-up comedy soup. If music be the food of love, play on. If sketch comedy be the food of sex, dinner is served.
Scenes Of A Sketchual Nature - Fringe 2009
The clue is in the title, thereís a lot about sex, sexual attitudes and most of it harsh, sometimes cruising the offensive area, but here the defence of ĎIf itís funny, itís not offensiveí might be deployed, because in the main, the sketches are slick, brilliantly acted and original. However the cumulative effect of sex toys, prostitutes, rape, disability and murder, spiced with a bit of ironic, I hope, racism left me with something of a comedy hangover.
The fact that itís presented by a fetching bunch of floppy-haired posh boys who in other times would either be in Brideshead Revisited or bragging about their City bonuses reinforces the casual misogyny. However, politically correct cavil aside, they do it very well. And some of the more gasp-inducing moments are cleverly structured so that you complete the allusion in your own mind and become complicit in the unpalatable act. Very smart move.
They sketches rip along, the scene changes are quick and covered with some excellent voiceovers and there is no weak link in the line up of performers. The group sketches are as successful as the individual and pair work.
It sounds basic, but nobody steps on anyone elseís laugh and the tags are shared pretty equally. Max Dickins may edge ahead slightly in the comedy acting stakes, heís got a distinctive composure, but every one of them brings something to the party.
If Iíve got them right, Steve Garland has a fleeting look and manner of Peter Cook about him, which canít hold him back, and Patrick Turpin and Chris Quaile have a lot of sparkling versatility to commend them and make great girls!
It should have a later time slot than teatime, this is definitely post-watershed content, but it is what it is, abrasive subject matter delivered with polish and class. If they can knock the on the head the self indulgent, near-corpsing aspects of the performance (which surely must be faked?) they will be even stronger.
Best of all, itís an antidote to soppy whimsy and surreal nonsense, itís rooted in sex, death and the end of the world. But perhaps next year they might explore a middle ground thatís not so relentless.
|Date of live review: Saturday 22nd Aug, '09|
Review by Julia Chamberlain
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