The Birmingham Footnotes provide a good mixture of comedy styles by confident performers.
The pretence of the show is extremely flimsy (something about having to perform the sketch show in order to save a mill) but at least it’s something to tie the ends of the show together. As with many sketch shows, they find the most success with their surreal sketches - in particular, a man attempting to cure himself of his tendency to be a mantlepiece. Undeniably bizarre, it is without a doubt their best sketch and it was down this line of humour that the audience was most receptive.
Not all of the material is as creative. Often sketches rely on wordplay and puns; though this can be enjoyable, a smidgen too much of the material is based around it. If the group could have displayed more of the original thinking that a handful of sketches achieved the show would have been of a much higher standard. An example of such admirable ideas and fine, intelligent writing is the logically inverted scene in which a son's parents announce to him that he is gay.
Each of the performers provides a fine performance. Yet there is no mistaking that there is still an extra gear for many of the characters which would propel them into the realms of hilarity as opposed to the amusing. One such example of lost potential comes in the form of Jesus, who needs to be larger, with greater angst and defiance in order for the sketch to unlock its true comic power. In this matter, Birmingham Footnotes could have thrown off their shackles and created greater entertainment through the outright ridiculous.
It is a standard student sketch show and while it is worth watching there are still stronger student groups. The Birmingham Footnotes provide a good mixture of comedy styles by confident performers.