The Bite-Size'd 'Breakfast In Bedlam'

Making their third visit to the Fringe, the Bite-Sized team are starting to create something of a niche for themselves at both the Brighton and Edinburgh Festivals. They present 5 x 10 minute short plays from a daily menu of 6 shows within 55 minutes, and if that’s not variety enough, the programme changes three times a week so there’s actually 18 plays in total to catch. Not surprising then that this brand-establishment attracts a healthy crowd. The coffee, croissants and strawberries sweeten the deal, of course.Most plays are comedies, and to be fair aren’t really short plays but rather long sketches. But there is also some poignant quality drama in between the funny stuff, and that’s what helps these guys stand out in a very crowded market for sketch comedy. As I mentioned, the programme changes; so the line up you see may be different, but on the day I attended, the first offering was ‘Tangled Net’, a sketch in the style of a melodrama which could have been taken straight from a Penny Dreadfuls routine in which email passes across an old-fashioned typewriter. It’s a strong opening, and in particular Ben Enwright as the plucky suitor really shows natural comic acting talent.The quality of each play can be variable and not all of the line-up today hit the mark for me. ‘Mind The Flak’, for instance, was a monologue by a character being selfish about all things related to the underground, such as getting a seat or delays due to suicides. Presenting it, as they did, in a single spot made watching this unlikeable character particularly hard going, and I did lose interest in her rantings after a while. But it has to be said, the overall quality of all the work is high, despite the odd bump in the road on the way. And that ‘lucky dip’ of plays is precisely why you should put this show on your to-do list. You get to see something that might amuse, challenge or entertain you. And the included breakfast is, of course, a nice bonus.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

Assembly George Square Studios

The House

★★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Grace Notes

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

The Jungle Book

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

A Midsummer Night's Dream

★★★★
Multiple Venues

A Spoonful Of Sherman

★★★★★
Pleasance Theatre

Assassins

★★★★

The Blurb

Carol Tambor Award/Fringe First nominees with new and engaging 10 minute plays from the world's talented writers. Exciting characters/scenarios from history and present day! Free croissants, strawberries and coffee. ***** previews (FringeReview.co.uk).