It’s Friday the 13th and I am about to be trapped inside a slightly claustrophobic metal container with an unsuspecting audience by a group who call themselves Casual Violence, waiting for an evening of unprecedented acts of horror to follow. What could possibly go wrong? Absolutely nothing, as this is almost as good as it gets on a Friday night at the fringe.
The whole performance had a wonderful old-worldly circus feel to it
With an introduction boasting that they have never received a two star review, something I am unable to fix for them, Casual Violence proved to be a highly entertaining horror sketch show, with brilliant absurdist moments and amusing characters, all beautifully woven together in one action packed hour. Then again, you can expect nothing less from this multi award winning sketch group and stars of BBC Radio 4, who are well known for their unique style of grotesque, yet highly atmospheric and wacky sketches.Some of which finally answer those questions that keep you up at night, such as what happens to department store Santas after Christmas, or how Humphrey Bogart lands all the best movie parts, or what would a human smoothie fountain would look like, or what happens when a suicide prevention volunteer goes off the rails, plus the best marketing lesson you’ll ever get in this lifetime. You know - the big questions.
The whole performance had a wonderful old-worldly circus feel to it. But the cherry on the top has to be Ben Champion, the live musician on stage who consistently performed hilarious transition songs between the acts. That’s not to say the rest of the cast weren’t all extraordinary also. Comprising of Greg Cranness, Dave Arrondelle, Luke Booys, Alex Whyman and James Hamilton (who has written, created and produced the show), the entire cast of Casual Violence did themselves proud in this thoroughly entertaining show.
Nightmare comedy describes their act perfectly. To be able to create dark, twisted, yet silly stories that captivate the audience is a rare gift and we all here tonight would certainly like another helping.