When an Edinburgh Fringe virgin asks a seasoned Fringe-lover (that’s me, by the way) for show recommendations there are a number of shows I always highlight before reviews have even started rolling in – the Cambridge Footlights tour is always one of them. This year, the team of students have delivered once again, maintaining their consistent reputation for comical genius and meticulous execution in their sketches.
Definitely still on the top of my list of recommendations for those in search of the best comedy performance at this year’s festival.
A sketch group that boasts a ridiculous number of world-famous alumni, the cast of The Cambridge Footlights International Tour Show 2017: Dream Sequence have earned their spot amongst names like David Mitchell, Sue Perkins and Stephen Fry. It is a true talent to take simple, everyday activities and turn them into a hilarious, ridiculous sketch that everyone can relate to and the Footlights do this with the sort of skill you’d expert from seasoned professional comedians.
The show consists of several sketches and comedy character portrayals. Working together, alone or in smaller groups, our five actors performing this year are John Tothill, Ruby Keane, Sam Knights, Ania Magliano-Wright and Henry Wilkinson. This layout allows for a real variety in the types of sketches and characters performed – the troupe deliver comical scenarios we can all relate to, ridiculous interpretations of celebrities and over-the-top reenactments of otherwise normal everyday activities.
With recent Fringe years filled with political satire and comedy, it is refreshing to see the political humour not take centre-stage in this performance. The normal and relatable situations that are portrayed make for a more relaxed show; the sketches that gained the biggest laughs are always the ones where you could recognise someone you know from your own life in the character – you will almost certainly know a teacher like the ones played by Tothill and Wilkinson. The aforementioned teacher scene is without a doubt one of the best sketches I have ever seen. The pair mimic the stereotypical movements and phrases of the patronising teacher every person has had at some point in their life, I saw more than a few shed tears of laughter in the audience. Another notable performance came from Knights who pulled the sort of facial expressions that reminded me of Rowan Atkinson.
It’s not a firm Fringe favourite for no reason and so this topical, wacky and weirdly wonderful hour of side-splitting laughs is definitely still on the top of my list of recommendations for those in search of the best comedy performance at this year’s festival.