The Jest (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

The Jest

Sketch comedy quintet displaying intelligent, inventive and deliciously absurd skits at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This year the Jest team have been pruned from the previous nine piece down to five. It hasn't taken away from the quality though as this year's offering is just as tight as last year's; it's just resulted in a little more running about for the remaining quintet.

The style is the same, as there's no reason to change a formula that works so well: intelligent and inventive skits with a deliciously absurdist bent. There are a couple of old sketches – including the errant dancing Granddad and Dame Maggie Smith's charity appeal – but they are so good they're well worth enjoying for a second time. The new material is solid too: famous points in history are revealed as the result of misunderstandings, a 1950s' nuclear holocaust advertising campaign and the dinner party held in a house too close to Heathrow airport delights in pushing the joke beyond the boundaries of the ridiculous.

All five performances are well honed and choreographed – there isn't a weak link in the chain but special mention goes to Luke Theobald and his uncanny ability to perform the most unlikely impressions of celebrities including the aforementioned Maggie Smith and a truly unhinged Jim Broadbent.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 24 (not 12), 11pm, £6 – £10 (£6.50 – £9).

The Jest

  • 4 stars

Fresh from starring in BBC Radio 4's Sketchorama, comedy quintet The Jest present an all new hour of dark and subversive sketches. Be it a depraved travel agent showing unwilling tourists around an Eastern Bloc country you've never heard of or a pair of recovering Imodium addicts teaching primary school children about the…