The Beta Males: Happenstance

Fierce, fast, farcical and ferocious, The Beta Males certainly pack a punch in their new show Happenstance. With a chaotic set up of props all over the stage and backdrop, the four-man group setting up frantically as we enter, and Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ blasting out over the speakers, the audience know they are in for an exciting hour of madcap comedy.

​Fierce, fast, farcical and ferocious.

The first set of sketches are inventive and entertaining: the spoof revival farce and ‘Dads on Tour’ sketches tread familiar ground, but still get the laughs in. However, The Beta Males really set themselves apart from the rest of the ever-growing sketch crowd by their original, whimsical and downright strange sketches. A graduate whose ceremony gets invaded by an unwelcome and grizzly visitor, and a man who has been turned into a pony by a magical cake rank among the best of them.

Ingeniously, the intelligence behind the madness does not stop there, where we see recurring sketches of a Police Procedural send-up, and a super villain double-crossing sketch tying in to the rest of the sketches in the show. What eventually comes of the hour is an incredibly well-thought-out interconnected series of sketches that, while being entirely ridiculous in their style and delivery, all tie together in a way that would make any whodunnit writer proud. This well-roundedness of the show and layer upon layer of in-jokes creates a whirlwind of comedy which you cannot help but get swept up in.

While some of the punch lines could be stronger, it is obvious that this is not where the emphasis is intended to be, and to be honest it doesn’t need to be. The finesse with which these young sketch comics create a world for the audience never fails to pique the imagination and tickle the funny bones of everyone in the room. You can be sure of some incredibly awful puns to boot. With the coffee and red bull-fuelled energy of a bullet train, this is one sketch group who put sweat, tears and blood into their show, and you’re sure to be splashed in the face by each and every one of them.

Reviews by Andy Smith

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Chortle Award nominees, stars of Radio 4's Sketchorama and five sell-out Edinburgh Fringe runs in four years, the critically-acclaimed sketch storytellers present Happenstance, a show where things happen. The Betas are back with another ‘hilarious sketch show’ (Sunday Times) and brand new characters, as they breathe life into a new world of stories with heart. This year things are going to happen... ‘Genius’ (Sunday Times). ‘Gloriously funny’ **** (Time Out). ‘A furnace of invention’ **** (Chortle.co.uk). ‘A mastery of, and love for their craft that is a delight to behold’ **** (Fest).