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Rogue Males

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Corry Shaw

This is quite simply the best sketch show I have ever seen. Perfection is a rare thing on the Fringe, and incredibly hard to achieve in the traditionally ‘hit and miss’ sketch show format. Yet try as I might I cannot find a single fault with Adam Riches’s show. Each sketch was masterfully written, perfectly pitched and expertly performed with every ounce of funny lovingly splattered across the audience.

With only four main scenes, with mini-linking segments, this is a longer form than average. Without describing them, which may take away from the show, some may be glad to know that Riches’ longstanding character Victor Legit is back to entertain with his stories from the frontline of the war against copyright theft. Each and every character is beautifully portrayed and Riche never steps out of the persona, chastising his technician and bouncing of the audience without ever dropping his façade. His skills of improvisation are flawless, he is incredibly quick witted and assured.

Audience interaction is vital, with Riches’ willing crowd playing along and even cracking a few stonking jokes of their own. Riches’ natural warmth and charm practically hypnotise his rapt audience into doing his bidding – even if that involves stripping off or kissing him. For the faint-hearted who wince at the thought of being chosen, fear not, there is no malice, there is no humiliation there is just the sheer joy of being involved in something that is such good fun.

There’s a high joke count, making it almost impossible to pause for breath between laughs, but this show is not solely reliant on the punchlines or the remarkable comedy timing. The acting from Riches and his supporting cast of Ben Wilson (Idiots of Ants) and Jess Ransom (Armstrong & Miller) is superb, the technical extras are impressive but not overplayed, the structure and direction is flawless with every detail progressing the plot and adding more laughs. Even the sections clearly added to allow time for a costume change have been carefully written and developed to add yet another layer of funny.

I cannot recommend this show strongly enough. This is sure to be one of my favourite shows this Fringe.

Review date: 10 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw

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