The cast and crew of
The Big Bite-Size Breakfast Plays, though entertaining, feel short of their reputation with Breakfast Menu Three.
Having played the Fringe since 2006, there have been over 190 sketches performed by this ensemble. Unfortunately, after 190 sketches the troupe may be running out of steam. The group, at times, have misjudged their audience. An example of this is Fightbook, written by James McLindon. It is a short play about strangers arguing online and sending each other memes, meaning that many of the jokes in this sketch went over the spectator’s head.
Their choice of plays is also quite baffling. The first is Lifetime, a silly comedy written by Angie Farrow about two strangers who meet and immediately decide to marry. This warms the audience up nicely, though at times the sketch borders on pantomime. In comparison to this, the third play (A Different Time by Lisa Holdsworth), tackles the intense subject matter; discussing alcoholism and sexual abuse. They insensitively don’t provide any content warnings, and putting it in the same line-up as Lifetime undermines the play’s integrity.
Of the five plays, the best was Whiskey by William Knowelden. Sharp, entertaining and comical, the three characters onstage each go through multiple identity crises until the audience doesn’t know whether they are prostitutes or Russian secret agents. Despite this, it was too early for the audience to fully follow what was going on, and many left the theatre perplexed by what they had just seen. However, this seemed to be the writer’s intention. The actors changed roles effortlessly and in quick succession, showing their range as performers in a short amount of time.
The Big Bite-Size Breakfast Plays, though entertaining, feel short of their reputation with Breakfast Menu Three. Despite their issues of delivery and their tactlessness when it came to some of the themes explored in the sketches, the audience still left the theatre smiling. However, with the range of sketch theatre available at the Fringe, there are other performances from which audiences would benefit more.