I felt lucky to have a press pass around my neck when I saw the queues of people being turned away from this show. Hennessy & Friends are back for their second show at the Fringe after a year away, and are clearly in popular demand. It's clear why. Miranda, (the Hennessy in Hennessy & Friends) David Seymore and Steven Shapland are very funny actors, as this show reveals.
I found that the sketch troupe offered something quite unique: in addition to meeting and re-meeting a variety of characters, I felt as though we met each of the actors too
Across the show, the sketches feature characters from Dappy to Dirty Dancing enthusiasts, with a harmless looking mosquito and a pair of very civilised foxes along the way. Attributing slightly longer time to individual sketches than similar acts, each one had more time to develop than we’re used to, which was very satisfying for the audience. Moreover, the actors were good at sneaking in extra skills they possess to great comic effect (lavish tap routine, I'm talking about you).
On top of the inventive writing, I found that the sketch troupe offered something quite unique: in addition to meeting and re-meeting a variety of characters, I felt as though we met each of the actors too. They often stepped outside of the sketches to interact with us and introduce themselves as their own caricatures. It's really charming and these are genuinely hilarious sections of the show. The performers come across as natural, adaptable and don't take themselves too seriously, which puts the audience at ease. When Miranda fails to down an energy drink in one go, the boys break character to mock her for getting worse at it each day. Immediately, they draw us into their group and we want to be their friends.
In a cramped but cosy back room at the Cowgatehead, this show is a welcome remedy from the traditional Edinburgh weather outside and features one of the greatest final punchlines to a show that I've ever seen. The view is a bit restricted, so sit as close to the front as possible, but the hour flew past and, as it’s a free show, you have nothing to lose by seeing it. I highly recommend it.