Just These, Please is a sketch troupe with promise and imagination. They fill the space of the Gilded Balloon Balcony with a buoyant bombast that creates an immediate and inviting space. Comics Georgie Jones, William Sebag – Montefiore, Philippa Carson, and Tom Dickson deliver a panoply of sketches with pace and grace, and assuring physical performances.
This troupe have developed a love of the absurd, which is really promising
Many of the sketches are unflinchingly absurd, which really works well. The sketches are rapid fire, yet transitions between them are smooth and simple. Prop use is light and never superfluous, always serving the rhythm of the performance, where particular note must go to a sad bag filled with plastic bags. Many of us have one under the kitchen sink, and after Just These, Please, you may never think of it in the same way again.
The pacing of the sketches is effective, as is the case with rapid fire content, where some scenarios landed with far more aplomb than others. Clear stand-out moments included: an argument between three teeth awaiting breakfast; a rendition of Cats whilst ambushing an enemy outpost; and a group preparing for a selfie on the morning of British summertime. These rightly had the audience in stitches, as the deployment of these sketches was convincing, creative, and ever so slightly ridiculous.
Some sketches did not have a finger on the same pulse. This was mainly because some premises, although extremely clever and refreshingly silly, betrayed final punchlines and key self-referential jokes, long before they were delivered. Although this is testament to the honed structure of the sketch sequence, it took away some elements of surprise that can deliver a payload of really organic and explosive humour. Scenes with lots of movement were energetic and expressed a love of fun which is infectious – these could be tightened a little bit more with some choreography.
Just These, Please delivered on their job: the audience laughed and every sketch landed well. The troupe have developed a love of the absurd which is really promising, and one which I hope to see developed into more sketches. The ridiculous sketches were the most memorable, and the troupe should be commended for expertly running the tightrope walk of playing with farce and fun without ‘over-performing’ or milking any one moment for too many laughs. This shows a lovely understanding of nuance and pacing which is only going to consolidate and create more exciting and entertaining work.