The Colour Ham: the sketch group bringing together magic, mind-reading and comedy

This article is from 2014

The Colour Ham: the sketch group bringing together magic, mind-reading and comedy

Gav Oattes tells us what audiences can expect at the trio's Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 show

A comedian, a mentalist and a magician walk into a club. What happens next? ‘The lines are all blurred now. It’s not so much about the comedian, the mind reader and the mentalist any more – it’s about The Colour Ham. We’re all doing comedy; we’re all doing magic; we’re all doing mind-reading.’

Gav Oattes (the Ham trio’s prime comedy element) is explaining the group's modus operandi. Although all three members originate from distinct backgrounds in their chosen field, this coming together of different styles has melded into a sketch show that happens to feature moments of mind-reading and magic, rather than three separate entities. Not for nothing is it dubbed ‘a sketch show with special effects’.

The Colour Ham have a bi-monthly residency with The Stand in Glasgow and continue to carve their own unique place in the country’s comedy scene, helped, undoubtedly, by an enthusiasm for what they do. ‘It’s not just silliness,’ Oattes insists. ‘While it is a comedy show, we’re very, very serious about actually nailing the moment of magic and mind-reading. If we tell someone we’re going to guess their PIN, we’ll guess their PIN and they’ll shit themselves. You can take the silliness and use it to blow people’s minds a little bit.’

Their 2014 Fringe show – the third as a trio – promises a fair amount of mind-blowing, built up from their time at The Stand into something major. As Oattes advises, ‘Turn up, leave your brain at the door and come and have an hour of absolute nonsense with some lovely moments of magic.’

The Stand, Glasgow, Mon 14 Jul; The Caves, Edinburgh, Thu 31 Jul–Sat 23 Aug (not Tue 12).

Dotaman by The Colour Ham Edinburgh Fringe 2012

The Colour Ham

  • 3 stars

Magical comedy sketch group comprising Colin McLeod, Gavin Oattes and Kevin McMahon, making good use of absurdity, magic and mentalism. Member Gavin Oattes allegedly once licked Paul Daniels' face, so anything could happen, really.