WitTank

WitTank have a star in their midst. The trio have appeared on BBC3 and all three of them are involved in projects independent of WitTank at this year's Fringe. Despite all this mutual success one member of this often surreal sketch group shines brighter than the rest: Naz Osmanoglu.

Osmanoglu has always been WitTank's centre of gravity, but this year his rubber faces, flailing arms and shockingly sweaty hair completely steal the show. From his opening appearance as a weretwat - a man who tears off his jeans to reveal his chinos by the light of the moon - through his turn as the prank loving documentary filmmaker Dita Schaltz, right up until his swansong as the filthy Spanish love artist Antonio Pascera De Silvas, Osmanoglu consistently earns the lion's share of WitTank's laughs.

Kieran Boyd has the good fortune of largely playing the straight man to Osmangolu's raving lunatics, but Mark Cooper-Jones is not so lucky: called upon to play a few larger-than-life characters of his own, Cooper-Jones simply can't help but seem like he's reining it in compared to his manically energetic colleague. Comic parity is only ever achieved during a few transitionary sketches so brief that it is WitTank's writing that prompts the laughs, not their performances.

The imbalance doesn't totally spoil the show, which is riotously funny at times, but it definitely affects WitTank's momentum. While WitTank are still good for a laugh, it might be that Osmangolu, Boyd and Cooper-Jones are best enjoyed separately these days, allowed to thrive on their own terms rather than running the risk of appearing as pale reflections of each other.

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The Blurb

Like a battering ram to the funny-bone, stars of BBC3’s Live at The Electric rocket back to the Fringe with a lavish parade of inventive characters and sketch magnificence. ‘Hilarious’ (Independent). ***** (List). ***** (Comedy.co.uk). www.wittank.com.