Casual Violence Presents: House of Nostril

Jamie Hamilton is an energetic and inventive sketch writer, with an unusual ability to take conventions from other genres and spin them until they become surreal.

The conventions he uses here are the Adams-family-esque dark, wealthy and eccentric family and the strange, supernatural house they inhabit. The evil house, the cursed bloodline – these are areas full of comedic potential and Hamilton along with the rest of his company have made excellent use of their premise, whilst never making it too easy.

Perhaps what is most noteworthy about this sketch show is the quality that it maintains. While never quite rising to five-star comedy rarity it never dips very far below four – the rating above is not averaged from fives and threes and twos but from each sketch representing a similar and impressive, level of execution. This makes House of Nostril a rare sketch show indeed.The extras accompanying the show – a live musician providing an eerie and amusing soundtrack, a projected video smoothing the transition between sketches – are also impressive and well-utilised, the video in particular is remarkably well put together and never there just for the sake of it.

The performers are all adept and well-suited to the material; all possessing that sly glint in the eye verging on the corpse that makes a live sketch show such fun. One actual moment of corpsing was dealt with wonderfully, being incorporated back into the show in a way that improved the original sketch.

House of Nostril is an enjoyably bizarre sketch show, revelling in the macabre but never becoming overly dark or unpleasant. It avoids the kind of shock-based comedy that can too easily become a parody of itself. Most sketch shows involve an hour of occasional belly laughs in between furrowed brows, this one is one hour of near constant tittering – an average you’re unlikely to find unless you make a visit to this mysterious family pile.

Reviews by James Macnamara

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★★
The Jazz Bar

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★★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

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★★★
C venues - C nova

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The Edinburgh Academy

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★★★★★

Performances

The Blurb

Award-winning sketch terrors ‘creative, strange, brilliantly performed stuff’ (Kate Copstick, Scotsman) present the rise and fall of the most villainous bloodline in human history. There will be taxidermy. ***** (ThreeWeeks, FringeGuru.com).