zazU (3 stars)

This article is from 2014


credit: Nicolai Kornum

Edinburgh Festival Fringe sketch show set in a crazy, inconsistent world populated by eccentrics

You’ve gotta love the Fringe and where it can take you. Here, we’ve followed a bee through a portal and arrived in the parallel universe of zazU: a big crazy world with an awfully small mentality. There’s much to like, as this talented quartet create a series of cold, oddball characters and play out short skits of strange and often clumsy interactions.

As with any surrealist romp, some characters and ideas fare better than others, but the cast is roundly accomplished and able to flit from one crazy scenario to the next with relative ease, a gentle humour driving the action along. As we meet this motley crew of eccentrics, there are some flickers of brilliance from the man-bashing Isla and desperate boy-who’s-really-a-girl John Lucy, to the freaky Spittlecheeks and brash DCI Bastard.

But while the matronly voiceover helps pin the whole thing together, some of the skits and characters feel at times disjointed, lacking the quirky wow factor to really pack a comedy punch. Perhaps if they’d stripped some of the characters back and given them more focus, this could have been propelled from a decent afternoon show to something altogether greater.

Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 24 Aug (not 13), 3.40pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).

zazU Comedy

  • 3 stars

Surreality and jokes aplenty from zazU: Harrie Hayes, Tom Machell, Nick Read, Maddie Rice and Katharine Armitage.