Lead Pencil deliver a wacky, ‘90s themed sketch show, with nostalgic throwbacks and two dimensional, completely hand drawn set and props. Much of the humour surrounding the sketches relies on this group’s focus on nonsense. All characters are played by a strong cast of actors with over the top madness which, for this style at least, absolutely works. Worth a special mention is Dave Bibby, whose characterisation and timing throughout the show was particularly strong.
Their material covers anything from reminiscing about the simplicity of the Nokia 3310, to one girl’s lobster lust. My personal favourites were the recurring ‘art box’ sketches - quite clearly a witty and poignant parody of hit kids show ‘Art Attack’ - and the string of sketches featuring three moneyed and drawlingly posh characters bearing t-shirts branded ‘GEEK, ‘DORK’ and ‘LEPER’. These sketches were well balanced and equally well thought out.
I did find that through much of the material too much emphasis was put on creating a nonsensical scene. Often, the best jokes rely on a warped or heightened version of truth - when Lead Pencil took this into account they were hilarious. However some sketches were so ‘out-there’ that I found myself lost. I couldn’t relate to them or understand the angle they were coming from which detracted from their comic effect.
Overall, Lead Pencil delivered a fun show to watch delivered by a group of talented actors with ten-beats-per-second imaginations running amuck. If they harnessed their creativity and out of the box ideas this group could do wonders.