Bafflesmash (3 stars)

This article is from 2015


Educated bunch with sketch talent on their side hampered by one big technical hitch

The words 'Cambridge Footlights' can be a proverbial sea bird around the neck, either with a lot to live up to (the famous names that have gone before) or live down (some of the terrible Footlights shows of recent years). These Bafflesmash guys are current Footlights members, but thankfully Jamie Armitage, Tom Fairbairn and Rob Oldham make for an auspicious team.

Their decent education shows through the sketches, with plenty of literary references to derive gags from, such as the Trojan horse of Greek mythology to Dickens and his ‘Tale of Two Urban Settlements'. But don't worry, there's plenty of popular culture too, including a wonderfully silly Wallace and Gromit theme. All the skits are sharply written and honed with attention to detail and actual punchlines, something many sketch groups often forget.

But the one big gripe is a technical one which is becoming a yearly bugbear about the free venues. Because the group are not mic-ed up, the show comes close to being ruined by the noise-bleed from outside on a busy weekend night and the people coming and going from the crowd. Which is a shame, as those that left clearly didn't know what they were missing.

Laughing Horse @ Espionage, 477 7007, until 30 Aug (not 17), 9.15pm, free.


  • 3 stars

Bafflesmash / Free Festival Join this trio of Cambridge Footlights regulars for an hour of gag-riddled, irreverent silliness, as Jamie Armitage, Tom Fairbairn and Rob Oldham guide you through the world of Bafflesmash. You could call it a multidimensional odyssey which breaks the boundaries of time and space, or you could…