Who is Jean? Go the Distance: Fringe Review









Less sketch show and more comedy theatre, Who Is Jean present a surrealist tale about a running race where all manner of unusual events occur along the way. With an absurdest approach to comedy, laughs are attempted through the bizarre and spontaneous nature of their material. Unfortunately, many of their jokes fall flat as they seem to rely on the randomness of their content rather than its quality. As scenes are viewed with a mixture of confusion and bafflement, it is only during sparse moments that genuine laughs are found, more often than not as a result of a mistake or corpsing on the part of the cast. It remains clear that a lot of work is still needed.

The Banshee Labyrinth, 6 – 27 Aug (not 17, 24), 4.45pm (5.45pm), free non-ticketed, fpp165.

tw rating 2/5

This article was written for Three Weeks, but unfortunately was never published.

Deemed Unsafe: Fringe Review









The début show from sketch company Heretical Productions illustrates a bold attempt at providing something new to the genre. Incredibly energetic, they combine original ideas with humour to create a show that is thoroughly entertaining for a fiver. Focusing largely on physical comedy, and with an innovative live score, it differs considerably from most other sketch shows in both form and delivery. Saying this, despite its fresh edge, it lacks the consistency needed to make it a really good show; various scenes come across as either overly long or simply not that funny. However, it’s clear that the troupe definitely have potential and, perhaps given a few more years, might go on to greater things.

theSpaces On North Bridge, 5 – 27 Aug (not 7, 14, 21), 3.35pm (4.25pm), £4.50 – £5.00, fpp65.

tw rating 3/5

Taken from Three Weeks, published online Wed Aug 31st 2011.

The Ginge, the Geordie and the Geek – All New Show: Fringe Review









The highly praised trio return to the Fringe for an hour of brand new material delivered to sell-out audiences filled with expectation. However, they fail to satisfy the overarching hype that surrounds them. This is not to say that they aren’t good – they are clearly talented actors with an admirable knack for comedy, but it is debatable whether their increasing popularity can be justified. Much of their sketches, though entertaining, are not riotously funny, or else come across as rehashed versions of earlier superior comedians’ work, and so it is of no surprise that they are somewhat disappointing. Their material does, however, lack obscenity – an admirable trait which can’t go unnoticed, and makes it accessible for all members of the family.

Just The Tonic at The Caves, 4 – 28 Aug (not 17), 4.45pm (5.45pm), £8.50 – £12.00, fpp83.

tw rating 3/5

Taken from Three Weeks, published online Wed Aug 31st 2011.

Transformer: Fringe Review









With their surrealist approach to sketch comedy that seeks to move away from cheap laughs and lurid gags, Transformer have produced fifty minutes of comedy that is refreshingly different. Minimally offensive, they focus on producing quick scenes with memorable personae that are genuinely funny. The return of earlier characters at just the right moments throughout the show is testament to its structural success, while their disregard for the fourth wall provides an innovative approach to the genre. It is just a shame that they lack this intensity in all their scenes. Arguably, it’s forgiveable as sketches move at a decent pace, allowing the audience to be quickly introduced to something different, but sadly it prevents them from being truly brilliant.

Bedlam Theatre, 5 – 27 Aug, 6.00pm (6.50pm), £6.00 – £8.00, fpp162. 

tw rating 3/5 

Taken from Three Weeks, published Thu Aug 18th 2011.

Three Weeks 2011- Daily Edition #14, Aug 18th