Big Day Out

Three men of varying sizes guide you on a day trip of comic characters and sketches. This is their Edinburgh story.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Four Stars, Three Headaches (posted by Matt)

What a morning - the morning after the night before. Late last night with Lewis, Will and I scattered across Edinburgh boozing, Will half-heartedly checked the early editions of the Scotsman to see if they had printed the review. They had. Four stars, a big picture and a review that warms the comedy cockles of our hearts. You can read it below but suffice to say we drank champagne last night (admittedly I was alternating between champagne and Taunton-made cider) and a reet good time was had by all.

Three bickering telephone terrorists, two unsettling encounters in doctors' surgeries and one exorbitant restaurant bill add up to one gem of a sketch show, tucked away in the Pleasance Hut, which, for your own reference, is located round the back of beyond.

This tight, imaginatively-scripted hour is deftly delivered by the golden comedy compound of a short guy, a tall bloke and a ginger in the middle - which is probably the standard entry requirement for some burlesque acts.

Matt Chorley, William Kenning and Lewis Georgeson, to give them less reductive identities, make an appealing trio. They seem to intuitively respond to one another's cues - or maybe they are just gifted comic actors with a keen attention for detail and spot-on timing, which never wavers, even at the most hectic spots in their set.

At one point they use a post-work drinks session as an excuse to cram in a bunch of one-liners and floating punchlines which might otherwise still be looking for a home. The humour is located slightly left of centre, but is broadly accessible.

Silly a cappella versions of the Knight Rider, Grange Hill and Simpsons theme tunes might sound like a lazy way to get a laugh, but, y'know, they were just funny.

Similarly, we've seen the likes of rubbish Welsh life coach Darren Mint portrayed before, but we never tire of laughing at the ineptitude of outright idiots. Their radio play, with a harassed author, a method actor and an overzealous props man, is riotous. Their sketch about minorities in the workplace is riotous and clever.

The extracts from Michael Stipe's diary, portraying him as the ultimate pass-the-beanbake wet lettuce hippy liberal waif, could run and run. The audience would not have objected if they had let it.

Big Day Out is the kind of quality sketch show that could flourish on word of mouth alone, but it doesn't hurt to give them a quote for next year's poster. And, after such an impressive debut, there surely will be a next year's poster.