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

Greenside @ Infirmary Street

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★★★★★
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★★★★
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The Egg Is a Lonely Hunter

★★★
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Meek

★★★★
C venues – C cubed

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★★★★

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).