Beta Males: Happenstance (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

Beta Males: Happenstance

A clever, innovative and very, very funny show from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe sketch group

We probably should have guessed how detailed the plotting would become given that the four fellas, Adam Blampied, Guy Kelly, John Henry Falle and Richard Soames, are almost OCD-like in their setting up of the show as we file in, placing apparently random props on a net at the back of the stage and on the day glo orange line that marks out the stage space.

As daft as it is meticulously planned, Beta Males' fifth Fringe show has a pleasingly neat structure. It begins in deceptively ordinary fashion with a handful of seemingly unrelated sketches – opening with a slightly long trouser dropping farce sketch, into a skit about a graduate's big day being ruined by bears and on to a hopelessly lucky police chief who is reluctant to retire without having experienced at least one big tragedy to look back on. But with the introduction of some magic cupcakes and misplaced wishes, events take on an air of interconnectedness as the narratives tumble into each other, the players whirl in and out of each scene and the show becomes as increasingly convoluted as it is amusing. Clever, innovative and very, very funny.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 12), 7pm, £9 – £11 (£8--£9.50).

The Beta Males: Happenstance

  • 4 stars

Ditto Productions Chortle Award nominees, stars of Radio 4's Sketchorama and five sell-out Edinburgh Fringe runs in four years, the critically-acclaimed sketch storytellers present Happenstance, a show where things happen. The Betas are back with another ‘hilarious sketch show’ (Sunday Times) and brand new characters, as…