Lebensmüde – A Comedy Show
Pitch perfect sketches fear the dark
This article is from 2013.
After running comedy and performance evenings in that London, Lebensmüde (which consists of Celeste Dring, Edward Kiely and Freya Parker) make their Edinburgh debut. This trio is jostling for space among all the other sketch groups in the Fringe programme and have sensibly opted to abstain from trying to shout the loudest or be the most gratingly ‘zany’, instead concentrating on developing a series of semi-linked sketches that show off their talents to the best effect.
The group takes a theatrical approach to sketch writing. Each original character is fleshed out, the accents are spot on – except when they’re not meant to be – and the humour evolves from progressions in the storyline. The result is something more akin to Green Wing’s serial narrative than Smack the Pony’s sketch format but is reminiscent of the brand of humour used in each, with Sally Phillips an easy point of comparison for both Dring and Parker’s performances.
Interspersed with a relationship storyline are a few one-offs: the impression of BBC 6 Music’s earnestness is pitch perfect but a skit involving a German television programme doesn’t replicate the show’s generally high standards.
Lebensmüde translates as ‘weary of life’ but the originality and vigour of the group belies any fatigued misanthropy. One of the sketches treads into darker territory to depict a fanatical friendship and is all the stronger for it, but there is definitely scope for them to go further down the path of depravity. At a running time of 45 minutes, there’s just the right amount of finely-wrought comedy that flirts with silliness while remaining tightly controlled, skilfully performed and delightful to witness.
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