Gein's Family Giftshop

Gein’s Family Giftshop is a collection of short stories performed in rapid succession by James, Ed and Cath. The trio portray multiple characters in various scenarios, most of which involve some form of misfortune or misadventure. Billed as ‘macabre sketch comedy’, I was expecting something a little darker and more gruesome, but in that sense I left feeling a little shortchanged. However, death and tragedy are common themes and while there are one or two horrifying parts to the show, that’s as macabre as it gets.

Each vignette requires little to no setting up and minimal props – the audience doesn’t struggle to keep up but it does feel rather ‘blink and you’ll miss it’. The use of black humour is an appropriate choice for the kind of show it is, however overall the material is far from polished and definitely requires more fine tuning.

The sketches that worked were those with great use of wordplay or a clever, unexpected twist at the end – these were the ones that garnered the most laughs. Those that fell a little flat were just a little too crass; off-colour humour does work but in this instance it felt like being crude just for the sake of it.

While the content struggled, the performers did manage to keep things entertaining enough. They are adept actors who definitely have a natural flair for comedic theatre. I also liked how they broke the fourth wall by addressing the audience – a nice touch that could have definitely been explored further.

This revue is a mixed bag with some comical parts to tickle your funny bone, but unfortunately there are more misses than hits. The show is quite niche, considering the subject matter, but if you do have forty minutes to spare between shows and fancied a cold beer, this could be an interesting detour.

Reviews by Faith-Ashleigh Wong

Gilded Balloon

Bacchanalia

★★★★★
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

Andrew Bird - Up Against It

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Danny Ward – Infra Dig

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Henry Paker: Unpacked

★★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Chris Dugdale: More Magic and Mischief

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Macabre sketch comedy focusing on the hilarious subject matter of abject misery and human tragedy. ‘Brilliant, original black humour’ (StudioSalford.com).

Most Popular See More

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Anything Goes

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets