Jigsaw (3 stars)

This article is from 2011


Accomplished but light sketching

There’s no doubting the talent on offer in Jigsaw. The rapid-fire sketch trio comprises stand-ups Dan Antopolski, Tom Craine and Nat Luurtsema and thus boasts a triple Perrier nominee, a Times Top Five 2010 winner and a Chortle best nominee respectively. But as with any super-group, you wonder how three solo stars will fare under a single spotlight. Once Jigsaw colonise the stage, however, there is barely time for such reflection. Their rampant, oft-surreal succession of express (but largely well-developed) sketches showcases the lively chemistry and fluid choreography among our comical troika.

Despite a tiny set and minimal props, they veer from doctor’s surgery through candle-lit restaurant to seaside holiday with speedy aplomb. An opening misfire (are human penguins really that funny?) was soon appeased by a string of variously likeable and absurd characters: the Schrödingers at Christmas, the sexually voracious shark and – best of all – the (unconvincing) man from the future, replete with cheesy gesticulations and crap patter.

It’s odd seeing Luurtsema playing it (relatively) straight, however, flanked by the farcicalities of Antopolski and Craine. And while Jigsaw works well as a light-hearted ensemble, there’s an occasional sense that this combo equals less than the sum of its impressive parts.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug, 5.45pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8).


  • 3 stars

Dan Antopolski (Triple Perrier nominee, Dave Award winner 2009) 'Hilarious, imaginative and wonderfully cheap' (Independent) joins forces with Tom Craine (Times Top Five 2010) 'Wise, funny and lyrical' (Observer) and Nat Luurtsema (Chortle Newcomer nominee 2008) 'Disgustingly talented' (Guardian) to culture an hour of…