Beta Males' Picnic in 'The Bunker'
  • By Beth Kahn
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  • 27th Aug 2010
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  • ★★★★★

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and the last remnants of civilization are living out their days in a bleak underground bunker. The post-apocalyptic genre might seem tired and derivative, but the Beta Males have breathed new life into this familiar premise, creating an utterly brilliant hour of sketch comedy. The four talented comedians conjure up a rich, absorbing world, presenting a diverse assortment of loosely related sketches while still maintaining a strong narrative thread and dramatic momentum throughout. The over-arching concept is strong enough to support an hour’s show, and the individual components are strengthened by this ingenious framing device, which allows them to avoid the lack of focus that can be a pitfall of sketch comedy.The writing is consistently strong – full of bitingly witty one-liners and brilliant comic scenarios which never fail to make you laugh out loud. More unusually for sketch comedy, though, there are genuine moments of fear and pathos too, giving the piece much more emotional and comedic clout. The joyously original and surreal dark comedy is amplified by the energy and attention to comic timing and detail that the performers display – Adam Blampied is a particular standout, but all four are impressive and engaging, and there is a good group dynamic. They also make inventive use of multimedia, sound, and lighting to great effect, helping to create an immersive atmosphere. These virtual unknowns have created a superb show that outclasses many of the Fringe’s more established sketch troupes.

The Blurb

Post-apocalyptic sketch comedy as four men from today sketch the world of tomorrow, the remaining 273 humans alive and the last punchlines they'll share. 'Fizzing with energy and a manic inventiveness' ****(ThreeWeeks). 'Brilliant' ****(List).