WitTank (5 stars)

This article is from 2011.


A dazzling display of sketch genius

A sketch show to make even the most po-faced Fringe-watcher break out in hives of hysteria, WitTank takes comedy to brilliantly berserk new levels. An unlikely kleptomaniac, a sinister headmaster, a sugar freak and an unhappily-housed grandfather are just some of the incredible, bizarre, and breathtakingly funny characters dragged out of WitTank’s comedy coffers. A seasoned sketch group, WitTank has been garnering the kind of breathless reviews that most comedians only dream of.

Now made up of Naz Osmanoglu, Kieran Boyd and Mark Cooper-Jones, WitTank has been gracing Fringe stages since 2006, and this experience shows. It’s an incredibly polished performance, with over-the-top characters mixing with humble everymen. A particular stand-out sketch in a show filled with them is the creepy headmaster and his unctuous encounters with the school’s cook and handyman. There’s a gradual building of hilarity as it becomes clear what the demented headmaster wants, but even so, when it is revealed, it is as fresh and bonkers and unexpected as if it had never been hinted at.

These are performers at the height of their writing and sketch comedy powers. The sequences are tight, the rhythm of the show has been choreographed to clinical timing, and the jokes are first-rate, top-drawer and dazzling. The sugar-freak sketch may seem as though it’s treading on familiar turf – the nice guy on a date harbouring a secret – but then arcs uproariously onto leftfield with its strobe lights and house music. It really has to be seen to be believed. This is all smart stuff which toys with our expectations, and the pay-offs are huge. There isn’t a single down moment in WitTank’s exhilaratingly perfect set.

The Caves, 556 5375, until 28 Aug, 6.15pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).

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1. David Cox28 Aug 2011, 11:48am Report

WitTank 9.38/10

So impressed were we last year with Wit-Tank that a full quota of Darkchatters returned for a second helping. Our hopes were high, but not even we expected to be served up a five-course banquet with champagne on tap and as much gammon as you could eat. This was sketch comedy at its very, VERY best, and our only worry was that we’d soon be forking out a tenner to see these guys in the Pleasance rather than £9 241 in the Caves. The performances matched the quality of the writing, and we laughed for 58 minutes, merely giggling through the scuba diver sketch. We recommend strongly!

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