23, Please: The Sketch Show That Never Was

With a Cambridge Footlights endorsement on their flyer, this is a group already promising great things to an expectant audience. Quick changes and quicker one-liners abound, and whilst there are a few rough edges still to shape up, this is a very enjoyable evening of comic sketch fun.

If you’re looking for easy laughs and fast-paced humour this is a great show to catch.

It would be fair to say the trio of Rufus (Rufus McAllister), Rico (Enrico Hallworth) and Adam (Adam Woolf) play to their strengths; at least two sketches revolve around a mockery of ‘lad’ culture - albeit whilst disguised as caterpillars at the time - and several others focus upon on middle-class tropes, such as passive aggressive over-politeness, which I’m sure many will be able to recognise in themselves.

Relatable topics range from First Aid skills to dinner-time manners, and whilst there were flirtations with slightly darker material these were kept brief and lighthearted. Some sketches felt a little safe, and some so fast you would blink and miss them, but those that stood out were the ones which played with different tones and turned traditional situations - like a school nativity play - completely upside down.

Whilst the sketches themselves are not linked thematically, there is a ‘birthday party’ structure that frames the act and allows the group to tread the delicate balance between short pieces and a longer, overarching narrative. They could possibly have taken this further, as there were several imaginative characters - the ‘Lad Catapillar’ being a great example - where it would have been nice to see a return later in the set.

There is no denying that these boys are funny; their sense of comic timing is spot on, but sometimes this is lost when the pace of delivery overtakes itself and crucial lines become lost. If you’re looking for easy laughs and fast-paced humour, however, this is a great show to catch.

Reviews by Katie Rose

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The Blurb

23 what? 23 pleases? 23 hours in a day? We know that the number 23 is crucial. We don’t know why. From the Cambridge Footlights; this sketch show hasn’t happened, isn’t happening and will not happen. But don’t let that stop you coming to see it. ‘23, Please combines sketch, mime, songs, and impressions for an hour of unadulterated hilarity' ***** (Varsity). ‘Varied, relatable and, most importantly of all, funny’ ****½ (TheTab.com). ‘Innovative and excellent’ ***** (CambridgeTheatreReview.com).