Sketchbox

With each show, Sketchbox provides a taster session of five sketch comedy groups. Alex Maison, as host, charmingly carries us between the acts.

Sketchbox provides nothing new to the world of sketch-comedy and is a very missable hour of free comedy that can be better invested elsewhere.

Drunkenly lamenting his last few days before betrayal, Jesus Christ descends upon the crowd at St John’s. Feeding the 5,000 is the least of comedian Charles Booth’s worries as this is more a case of entertaining the five unfortunate souls who rolled aside the stone at the front of the venue. Handing around a pitta bread to represent his body, it is a shame that Booth did not then pass round the wine as it would have made the audience a lot more receptive to his half-baked jokes.

Hennessy and Friends started their sketch routine rather promisingly, boasting Brechtian role cards and a boat load of enthusiasm. A clever role reversal featuring a shop assistant, two robbers and a customer service survey form the basis of the first sketch. Their second is a charming and fun reminder of the stroke acronym (START) accompanied by a ukulele. A tight and well rehearsed performance by the trio was by far the stand out snippet in this sketch comedy showdown.Overall, how would I rate my experience with Hennessy and Friends today? A solid 3 out of 5, would like to see more of their work.

Ali Brice states he has found ‘The Formula of Funny’. If this is the case, Brice really should go back and look over his working. A science teacher during term time, Brice drops marks straight away for corpsing with more deducted throughout the sketch for clumsy comedy and a poorly thought through character in Eric Meat. An obviously conscientious student of comedy, Brice on this occasion does not receive a passing grade.

The Minor Delays have one major problem - eye contact. Oddly enough, it seems a deliberate choice for the actors to make a spectacle of themselves in this fashion, only eyeing the audience and never each other. However, some of their sketches, such as the one with Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel beige, show suggestions of promising things to come and I look forward to seeing how they develop in the future.

Poorly projected and drowned out by the sound of construction work, most of The Awkward Silence’s sketch was just that. It is rather unfortunate that this was the case as the characterisation and facial expressions from every member of the trio was rather entertaining.

Ultimately, Sketchbox provides nothing new to the world of sketch-comedy and is a very missable hour of free comedy that can be better invested elsewhere.

Reviews by Lauren McLay

St John's

Sketchbox

★★
C venues - C south

Americana

★★

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Performances

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The Blurb

Indulge yourself with the Fringe's finest sketch and character comedy, featuring daily headline acts joined by rising stars and the best newcomers, all in the company of your genial host Alex Marion. ‘Big-hearted... Glorious... Uplifting’ (Skinny). ‘Very intelligent and funny’ (David Schneider: The Day Today, Saturday Night Armistice, I’m Alan Partridge). www.alexmarioncomedy.wordpress.com @mralexmarion

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