Following their successful Pleasance run at the Fringe last year, BEASTS once again return with their inimitable brand of absurdist, ridiculous sketch comedy. The three-strong ensemble go from one sketch to another at frenetic speed, firing off quick sketches packed in amongst the longer scenarios to give a well performed and side-splitting show.
The trio give a fantastically cinematic opening to their show, reeling through a montage of moments from sketches to come, which gives the show a feeling of narrative, linking all of the main sketches together through this opening sequence. This is followed at great speed by a host of fantastically thought-out and executed sketches, including a brilliant (and pleasingly well-sung) Les Miserables parody in a video rental shop, the plight faced by Mr Marks and Mr Spencer when they come up against stiff high-street competition and a healthy handful of great visual gags, executed with brilliant deadpan demeanor by all involved.
One of the strongest features of the show is the recurring sketches, performed with expert timing and comic skill – Chris De Burgh, Kylie Minogue and a whole host of children’s story book and television characters are targeted for some of the funniest running sketches I’ve seen a the Festival this year. Having this through-line in the show ties the hour-long performance together neatly, making for an extremely satisfying ending when it comes.
While some of the sketches in the second half of the show did seem to lag, these moments are brief and the pace is picked up again rapidly by the group’s perfect mix of the absurd, the sharp and the downright stupid. Packed with laugh-out-loud moments and a good helping of audience interaction, BEASTS have really pulled out all the stops for this year’s Fringe.