Simply the Jest (4 stars)

This article is from 2013

Simply the Jest

Good solid writing and delightfully silly sketches

Simply the Jest perform pared down, almost prop-less sketches, which is probably a very good thing given that there are nine of them and there's barely enough space on the stage as it is. It's a gag in itself on the rare occasion that they all perform in the same sketch together and have to squeeze in.

Like many sketch shows, they employ recurring skits to provide us with that satisfying sense of structure but other than that there are no fancy effects or gimmicks here – just some solidly good writing. What particularly lifts these guys above the average is their willingness to presume intelligence in their audience. A pair of historical hen night skits feature, in turn, Anne Boleyn and Eva Braun. A skit centring on a traumatised former Guantanamo Bay warder skit has been researched for all the details.

Elsewhere things are just delightfully silly; there's an awkward strip tease to Yazoo's 'Only You' and there's an appeal for Judi Dench on behalf of Maggie Smith as played rather unexpectedly by a man with a beard. Clever stuff.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, 556 5375, until 25 Aug, 10.15pm, £8–£10.

Simply The Jest

Sketches, songs and parodies from the nine-piece comedy troupe.