Fringe newcomers, Dude Looks Like A Lady, bring their award-winning sketch show to Edinburgh with heaps of enthusiasm, a fluctuating quality of comedy and an abundance of false (and sometimes malfunctioning) moustaches.
The mock-military theme, which you may have seen advertised on the side of a car roaming the streets of Edinburgh, is quickly discarded and has very little relevance to the bulk of the show
The Dudes are the comic creations of new talents Jessica Ashworth, Juliet Catton, Amanda Stauffer and Leanne Davis and it is with gusto - and plenty of noise - that they take to the stage in a flurry of camouflage and trodden-on toes. The mock-military theme, which you may have seen advertised on the side of a car roaming the streets of Edinburgh, is quickly discarded and has very little relevance to the bulk of the show. Instead what we get is a ragbag collection of sketches that range from the observational to the satirical to the downright surreal in an hour of high-energy fun.
Ever sketch is performed with vigour and dedication to the entertainment cause, however, the quality of those sketches is very much in flux over the course of the show. Some are very good: the moustached mates at the pub offering their advice to women of the world is hilarious and pertinent, as is the ‘Blesco’ advert. But the shoddy writing of some of the poorer sections, together with the fact that sketches often overstay their welcome, undermine these highlights. A sketch in which different characters remember films in highly specific ways has potential, but is diminished by the fact that each joke is explained unnecessarily to the audience. A more understated approach in these sketches would greatly benefit the show.
That said, the four performers are engaging and entertaining, with Catton and Davis especially standing out. Their onstage chemistry is noticeable in moments of ad libbing and the obvious fun they’re having onstage is infectious. For pay as you want at 1.25pm in the afternoon, why not go along and support some new dudes on the scene?