Casual Violence: A Kick in the Teeth
Dark sketch material with an absurdist, surreal tone
This article is from 2012.
It’s rare that a comedy show is very nearly spoiled by an audience member being too nice. But here, at every single moment of vague pathos, mild jeopardy and thwarted ambition, a very audible ‘aaaw’ erupted across the auditorium as though what we were witnessing wasn’t an absurdist sketch show from a rising set of semi-surrealist comics, but a documentary about kittens in peril.
Somewhat appropriate given their name (and a show title of A Kick in the Teeth), an acute sense of threat pervades each sketch such as the relentless Armistice Day campaigner flogging his stash of poppies, a less than clued-up US private investigator and a sinister robot literally slaughtering his opponents at Battleships. Their less-is-more strategy of returning to a sketch rather than writing more new ones is an admirable risk but one that doesn’t quite come off.
Some light relief is attained via the passionate owner of The Obsoleteum and the musical interjections of the bearded and bespectacled Adam D Felman whose opening utterance is a thing of non-sequitur geographical glory. Unfortunately, it seems he can’t play a single pseudo-melodramatic note without receiving some unwanted sympathy.
The Caves, 556 5375, until 26 Aug (not 21), 10pm, £8 (£7).