The Real MacGuffins are clearly skilled and practised performers, exuding a confident, polished stage presence from the start - playing the gracious hosts at this, a party celebrating the group's back catalogue. The sketches themselves are strong and often hilarious. A sketch about conkers used costume to great effect, and one involving a French hotel receptionist was stylishly executed and had the audience in stitches. Traditional formats, premises and classic joke structures were used with flare - the sort of sketches that wouldn't be out of place on Radio 4. The dynamic between the performers was pitch perfect: two of the group victimising the third - a classic clowning technique. These boys know exactly how to write sketch by numbers and the jokes are solid - the structures operate like clockwork.
The group have an infectious sense of fun, and the hour is enjoyable and reliably funny.
Unfortunately, the group have fallen into a trap that often burdens "best of" style shows: attempts at stringing together a narrative structure between the sketches is often confusing and ill conceived and such is true here of the overall party concept. The main storyline is interspersed with a series of flashbacks as well as a competition to get the most laughs, here disguised as a party game. Shoehorning three similar narratives, only slightly different in tone, into one show is unnecessarily complex in an already fragmented sketch format. A few of the sketches also rely too heavily on puns and simplistic wordplay to get laughs: an opening sketch about a medieval court fell flat - a disappointing opening to a generally strong show.
The Real MacGuffins have excellent comic timing, proved in a sketch which turned a simple list of fonts into a very funny gangster scene. The group have an infectious sense of fun, and the hour is enjoyable and reliably funny.