Big Brass (2 stars)

This article is from 2014

Big Brass

New sketch group make their Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut with patchy, masturbation-obsessed show

From the comedy stable of the Oxford Revue comes a new sketch trio: Nick Davies, Barney Iley and David Meredith, only one of whom looks like Hugh Laurie. Starting even before the audience members take their seats, the pace of the sketches is rapid, with hints of a through narrative adding a backbone to otherwise disparate skits.

With multiple chances for success, too few of the sketches hit home. The stand-out scenes – concerning a Foley artist, a robot and an echo – are of the whimsical and ironic variety. They set up a scenario then play with those rules to great effect. The robot sketch is enhanced by the performers abusing each other. The trio’s rapport is slick throughout, but never better than when gleefully being mean to each other.

The sharing of saliva in the robot sketch is one of many times they rely on bodily fluids for a punchline; at times the stage is awash with mimed semen. As a result, Big Brass come across as hormonal teenagers, reliant on the (negligible) shock value of wanking and kissing each other. They have the makings of something worthwhile if only they can grow out of their masturbation fixation.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, 556 5375, until 24 Aug (not 12), 7.40pm, £7–£9 (£6–£8).

Big Brass

  • 2 stars

A new sketch show from the current and former presidents of the world famous Oxford Revue. Come along. It'll be really nice. ‘Fast-paced, unconventional, cutting and very funny … verged on genius’ ★★★★ (Oxford Student). Praise for previous performances: ‘Witty, inventive and extremely clever … the comedy stars of the…