Camels (2 stars)

This article is from 2018


credit: Charlee Murphy

Amiable duo don't quite reach the heights they promise

Sketch comedy has had a decent month at this year's Fringe with The Pin, Lazy Susan and Sheeps raising the standard to excellent levels. The Camels duo of Patrick McPherson and Zac Peel will hopefully have their best years ahead of them, but this 2018 offering is all too-often lacking in punchlines and verve. The framework for success is there, with intriguing set-ups including the differences between bees and wasps, and the dad who takes his lad outdoors for a spot of stargazing, though the latter's subtextual tale of a marriage in brittle disarray is symptomatic of the show's almost too-obvious narrative swivels.

More successful is the sketch where a young Judas confesses his life-changing crime to his mum, though once the initial reveal is made the remainder drags towards to denouement. Image can sometimes say so much, and where Idiots of Ants dressed up in white shirt and black ties, and The Noise Next Door went for black shits and colourful ties, Camels have gone for a regrettable if all-too telling beige ensemble.

The pair promised us 'an hour of distraction' but it's too easy to focus on the fact that their routines regularly fizzle out into shoulder-shrugging disappointment. A long career on Radio 4 probably awaits.

Underbelly Bristo Square, until 27 Aug, 1pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).


  • 2 stars

Zac Peel and Patrick McPherson Camels is a side-splittingly funny five-star sketch comedy, coming to Edinburgh after four sell-out runs in London. Written and performed by occasional best friends Patrick McPherson and Zac Peel, their show is 'truly hilarious' ( and 'so funny it feels like a work…