Beasts
  • By Kat Pope
  • |
  • 20th May 2013
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Onto the stage bursts an Oxford-boater chappy, a Miles Jupp-a-like, and a guy who's wandered in from the production of Abigail's Party playing next door.

I came away feeling I'd seen some very cleverly constructed comedy.

The talk soon turns to shaved nipple areas of course, for these men are Beasts a.k.a. Owen Roberts, James McNicholas and Ciaran Dowd.

Over the next hour we're treated to some of the most finely crafted comedy I've seen this Fringe. And not only is it finely crafted, it's actually funny. My son who, being 14, is not prone to laughter, guffawed along with the rest of us (it was either that or he had his headphones in).

Filling the tiny Three and Ten stage, this trio of very silly men run through some crackling and corkerous sketches. We discover how the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have grown old, bitter and, in one case, dead. Ditto with poor, behatted Wally who 'just got tired of hiding'. A logical take on the Three Little Pigs story, with some rather good abuse from the porker and growing bafflement from the wolf, works perfectly, while the Schrödinger's Cat sketch is so excellently judged that I reckon it's my 'Comedy Moment of This Year's Fringe'.

Beasts are equally at home with short punning gags as with full-on sketches, and a particularly daft one which I didn't see coming started the whooping cough I'd just got rid of back up again, so thanks for that guys - you nearly did a 'Goodies' on me (or did I nearly do a 'Goodies' on you?)

What gives this troupe an edge is the acting chops brought to it by Roberts and McNicholas. They give it a solidity, while Dowd gives it an uplift with his overeager, wide-eyed puppy bounce. This is played on nicely when he suddenly turns all stalkerish on a member of the audience – it's just not quite what you'd grown to expect from him.

I came away feeling I'd seen some very cleverly constructed comedy. Sometimes that just means I come out of the venue with a light bulb over my head, finger to pursed lips. This time it meant I'd nearly died laughing.

Reviews by Kat Pope

Since you’re here…

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Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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The Blurb

Enticed down from the mountains with the promise of raw meat, BEASTS have conspired to craft for your delectation a selection of slick, hilarious and "sublimely surprising" (The List) sketches. "Slick, surreal and wonderfully unique" **** (Broadway Baby), "One of the slickest sketch shows of this year’s fringe" **** (The List), "Side-splittingly funny" **** (Three Weeks)

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