Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Edinburgh Fringe 2011: Jigsaw

If a jigsaw is put together with painstaking care, the result (hopefully) is something sigh-enducingly satisfying. This sketch act is well-named, then, as that description could also be accurately ascribed to this hugely enjoyable show from three great stand-up comics in their own right - Nat Luurtsema, Dan Antopolski and Tom Craine. A whole lot of work has been put into creating dozens of stand-alone sketches, and it pays off in the form of a very funny and consistently high-quality show.

This act's chosen name lends itself to analogies so hopefully you'll allow me one more, in pointing out how perfectly these three performers fit together. Their rapport is natural and infectious, and an hour spent in their company is a properly cockle-warming one.

But just as important as being utterly lovely, this show is also packed with gags. We get straight into the jokes without intructions or set-up and, with sketches lasting more than a minute a rarity, the pace rarely lets up. Considering this show is such fun, there's a distinct lack of messing around here - props, costume changes, audience-work, corpsing and even running gags are all kept to a minimum in the name of cramming in more quick-fire sketches. If anything, it might be nice for one or two to be left to develop.

Perhaps reflecting the three different comedy minds that make up this new act, the sketches display lots of different types of comedy too. Some are visual one-liners, some showcase great physical humour, some rely on clever word-play, (and some on stupid word-play), some are all about the absurdity of the idea. My favourites included a terrible hostage negotiator, a woman engineering unusual situations in which to find love, and the corny-as-hell punchline to a wandering minstrel sketch. It's often silly, but the writing is very smart indeed.

Written for British Comedy Guide

1 comment:

ringtone maker said...

Sounds very intriguing, I will definitely try to find video of this either online or on iTunes or somewhere like that. I am such a huge lover of comedy shows!