Idiots of Ants (3 stars)

This article is from 2007.

Idiots of Ants

Sketches and skits with style

A live sketch show is a notoriously difficult thing to pull off. We allow stand-ups to have lulls in their hour but with a parade of sketches we expect each one to make us wet our collective underwear. A stand-up has time to develop a stage persona but with sketches, no sooner do we understand who the characters are than they are gone, and in this arena familiarity breeds hilarity before it breeds contempt. Into this unenviable Fringe battleground step Idiots of Ants, a four-man ensemble formed less than a year ago and against all the odds they come out with flying colours.

Instantly likeable and energetic, they move quickly from one sketch to another covering everything from sharing a flat with Jesus to the difficulties faced in being a gay penguin. Highly inventive, their inspirations are broad to say the least, from ‘Allo ‘Allo-like lunacy to the Pythonesque surreal. There’s some well-placed use of video to break up the pace, and while not all the skits work, the show is consistently amusing with moments of outright excellence. If you don’t catch them here, don’t be surprised to see them on a digital channel near you soon.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug (not 13, 20), 6pm, £8–£9 (£6.50–£7.50).

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