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Mabbs & Justice: Love Machine
Mae Day: I'm Not Waving, I'm Drowning
Maff Brown: Pacman Is Actually Allergic To Ghosts
Magicians Do Exist
Making Faces: Introspectacles
Making Life Taste Funny
The Man Who Was Nearly There
Manos the Greek: The Tale Of An Immigrant
The Many Mental Minds Of Dr Jackson
Marcel Lucont Etc: A Chat Show
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McNeil and Pamphilion: Which One Are You?
Men Of War
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Mickey Anderson Unlocks The Key To Human Happiness
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Midnight Hour 2011
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Mind Reading For Breakfast
A Mixed Bag With Alex Love and Paul Langton
Molly And Fluffkin
Monsters: A History Of Villainy
Moon Horse vs The Mars Men Of Jupiter
The Moonfish Rhumba: The Chronicles Of Moonfish
Morgan & West: Crime Solving Magicians
Morningside Malcolm Meets The Weegies
Morris & Vyse: Daylords Return
Mostly Comedy Club 2011
Movin' On Up With Politically Erect
Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer: How I Invented Hip-Hop.. And Other Faux Pas
Mud Wrestling With Words
Mugging Chickens 
Musical Comedy Awards Showcase
My Name Is Hannibal: The Hannibal Montanabal Experience
Men Of War
Highly anticipated sketch show from the producers of The reduced Edinburgh Fringe impro Show. Starring David Schaal (Jay’s dad from The Inbetweeners), Cariad Lloyd (Kitty Romford) Perrier Nominee Stephen Harvey and Whatsonstage nominee Gareth Kane. Prepare for the onslaught of Men of War. Warning. Contains women.
Men Of War
Typical. You spend all year crafting your sketch show, writing and rehearsing every last detail ... and the biggest laugh you get is when something goes wrong.
This wouldn’t normally be a good sign for a Fringe show, but Men Of War play it perfectly. They’ve built a good rapport with the audience, and let their real personalities peek out from their characters just enough so that when a broad farce accidentally breaks out with a malfunctioning pair of trousers, they play it skilfully, wringing out the laughs without getting overwhelmed by the moment.
Then again, perhaps it was planned all along. It seemed genuine and spontaneous, but this quartet are such skilled actors and improvisers, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens every night. Just look at the pedigree of the cast, including Stephen Harvey, who was one half of the Perrier nominated Touslon & Harvey and David Schaal, who plays Jay’s Dad in The Inbetweeners. They are joined by Gareth Kane, from sketch group Scratch, and Cariad Lloyd, who brings an irresistible cheeky glint to all her characters.
The tone of the show largely sits on the jagged edge of middle-aged comfort; the key characters tend to have a sadness about the lives they have come to accept, from mid-management scenarios like conferences and appraisals, to the long-married husband having a rare drunken night of escape with his pals. The team prove to be very good at acting drunk and/or spouting bullshit. In fact, they prove to be very good at acting, full stop – their timing is excellent, and they have off-kilter sensibilities in performance as well as writing.
Some of the set-ups are comedy staples: the parody of the home shopping TV channel, the rectal probe (where do you think that wardrobe malfunction came from?) and the paedophiles grooming kids online. But just when you think you’ve seen it before there’s always an unexpected twist or disorientating tone to make things interesting. Their daytime cop show Hummus and Brie, featuring a particularly butch Pam St Clements, is a special delight.
They sometimes wear their cleverness on their sleeve – the Mad Men parody is beautifully metaphysical without being self-indulgent – and sometimes just go for the silly or raucous. Not being able to predict which way they will jump makes the show work so well. And while most the comedy comes from heightened character or awkward tone, there are some cracking jokes and blindsiding non-sequiturs in the punchy script.
|Date of live review: Saturday 6th Aug, '11|
Review by Steve Bennett
Amazing, amazing show. You have to see this. I didn't stop laughing from beginning to end!