Gein's Family Giftshop: Volume 2
Tales of terror and scatological sketches fail to grip
This article is from 2015.
The PE kit-wearing 2014 SketchFest winners jogged into Edinburgh last year to deliver a largely well-received debut hour with its gallery of monsters, microscopic detailing of life’s more repulsive moments and smattering of penile exposure. Suffering from typical second-album syndrome, Gein’s Family Giftshop can only offer a paler imitation of their brighter, Best Newcomer-nominated first volume, even if their radar for off-colour humour is still off the scale.
The stage trio of Ed, Kath and Jim (you can almost picture Kiri, the unseen fourth member, in a smoky lab somewhere, rubbing her hands and cackling in glee) once again dish the dirt with taste-worrying routines about stoning children, attempted suicide, medical abuse and sexually active fleas. A solo game of Connect Four and some campfire ghost stories almost threaten to relieve the gore while, tellingly, the show’s best moment is a wholly inoffensive bit involving an alternative method of payment.
As with the Late Night Gimp Fight boys, this self-imposed pigeonholing into the darker recesses of sketch comedy has become an albatross (probably a massacred one) around their collective neck. Sadly, Gein’s Family Giftshop already feels a little like an idea whose time has been and gone.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 17), 10.45pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£6.50–£8.50).