The Canon: A Literary Sketch Show

This is a very silly comedy about some very serious books (and poems and plays). If you know you Moby Dick from your Free Willy then this one’s for you – that’s right, it only takes very basic literature awareness so don’t worry about jokes going over your head. The young cast pull together a wide variety of sketches based on classic pieces of writing with energy and tangible passion for the subject.

Every sketch succeeded in getting a laugh from the audience and really that’s the only measure of which to hold a sketch show to.

The short sketches have a lovely range of variety in their approach, ranging from some quite dry humour to absurdity to more physical moments performed while lip syncing to Taylor Swift. The texts used a stimuli are broadly accessible tending to be modern classics that even if you’ve never read you know the general idea of. The jokes are not based on some deep analysis of the text which may be disappointing for some intense literature fanatics but makes the performance fully accessible.

The only drawback in terms of variety within in the text was a slightly unnecessary heavy weighting towards Shakespeare. Although all of the Bard based sketches were amusing in their own right so this can be forgiven. This along with their all black apparel gave away their student theatre roots. But the group of recent graduates have done student theatre proud.

Every sketch succeeded in getting a laugh from the audience and really that’s the only measure of which to hold a sketch show to. The jokes were not hugely innovative but the performers were excellent. This is the second year The Canon has hit Edinburgh and it is a deserved return. Hopefully it will be back next year again to bring smiles to the faces of book worms as well as friends of book worms who have been dragged along to see it. 

Reviews by Gillian Bain

Assembly George Square Studios

Girl Scouts vs Aliens

★★★★★
Summerhall

The Desk

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

M.E.H

★★★
Just the Tonic at The Charteris Centre

Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard's Tale

★★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

Queer Words

★★★
Summerhall

Pussy Riot: Riot Days

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

'The Canon, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. The – Ca – non: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. The. Ca. Non.' The Canon returns in its second edition. An irrepressible sketch show featuring an all-star cast of literary favourites, from Shakespeare to E L James. We're like SparkNotes, only funny. 'A crew with a future' (List). 'Very intelligent and very funny' (TheatreGuideLondon.co.uk). 'Absurdity, surprise, conviction and wit' (BroadwayBaby.com).

Most Popular See More

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets