Pappy's Fun Club [2007]

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

They claim it’s entirely faked, but there is a wonderful chemistry between the four cheery young members of Pappy’s Fun Club. Between them, they create a natural, Knockabout energy: a gang show mentality they apply to inventive ideas, resulting a joyously upbeat hour of fast-paced shenanigans.

Their show starts relatively soberly. After the introductions are made we embark on a few imaginatively conceived scenes, restrained in delivery: such as the horror-movie trailer for Things That Are Only Scary For A Short Amount Of Time, or the mild-mannered prankster Len Taunton. They’re well done, but initially not much to elevate them above the sketch-show norm.

But gradually, though, the pieces and characters get sillier and sillier. Abraham Lincoln makes an appearance, obsessed with the phrase ‘four score and seven’; folk trio Marty, Mim and Julius entertain, with their unconventional line-up; a topless taxman with a child’s cash register strapped to his head chases up unpaid revenue; and the directions Up, Down, Left And Right star in their very own skit.

If it sounds wacky, well it is – but the script is sharp, too, not just odd for odd’s sake. And it’s all performed with a wickedly playful sense of fun. If a foursome can have a glint in their collective eye, then this lot have. None of them, incidentally, is called Pappy – that’s the name of the unseen, hospital-ridden benefactor who’s financing this splendid jamboree.

As the show drives forward, characters reappear and jokes recalled as the fragmented nature of sketch shows is thwarted, and elements of structure revealed. Finally, an inspired piece of audience participation unravels the genre brilliantly.

It’s the unquenchable verve of performers Tom Parry, Matthew Crosby, Ben Clark and Brendon Dodds that makes this such a joy, backed by some very clever writing. If you like We Are Klang, you’ll love this

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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