Sketch comedy group Dead Secrets bring us Bulletproof Jest, 50 minutes of sketch comedy boasting excellent costumes, very funny concepts and a spot of pretty suspect dancing.
Despite an array of sketch shows at the Fringe this year, Bulletproof Jest makes a bit of a splash because its parodies are so very well observed. Dead Secrets also provide excellent variety through the use of several hilarious film clips, including a mash-up of Second World War recruitment videos with clips of their own Ministry of Defence spoof.
The idea behind and the execution of the sketch based around an episode of TV's Wife Swap, featuring literary couples Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet and Heathcliff and Cathy, is genius. Brilliantly observed and sidesplittingly funny, this is definitely the best sketch in the whole show.
There are, however, a few sketches which suffer because they are pretty long and drawn-out. For example, the sketch in which an ursine friend of Paddington Bear laments the fact that he was not adopted by the Brown family would garner a great deal more laughs were it at least three minutes shorter. Likewise, the sketch in which a rapid response team of ministers arrive to rescue a church fête, while funny and clever, becomes tedious when stretched thin in an attempt to get a few more laughs.
Bulletproof Jest is overall a pretty strong sketch show, with a few stand-out talents. It is, however, the production of the show as a whole that makes it worth seeing. With hilarious wigs, costumes and props and an excellent use of multimedia, Dead Secrets prove themselves to be a highly professional company with a great deal of potential for the future.