Laughing Stock (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Laughing Stock

Pushing the boundaries in a taste-busting sketch affair

Rhys Bevan, Lewis Doherty, Arabella Gibbins and Phoebe Higson present a series of character-driven sketches that often unfold along the lines of one individual pushing another’s boundaries. In a succession of recurring and single-serving skits, the troupe take turns aggravating each other to either just past the bounds of propriety or sometimes further.

The repetition of meetings between two childhood friends who reunite in a pub leads to diminishing returns, while a duel between two buskers sets up a riff that allows the team to show off their musical talents and delivers a nice pay-off. Audio sketches during scene-changes keep the pace up and provide a home for smaller ideas, with this attention to detail carrying over into the mileage they get from Doherty’s unfortunate Achilles tendon injury.

All four are clearly talented actors and the hour hangs together nicely, peaking when they digress from the format. A trip into the surreal with a magician whose tricks get out of hand provides the biggest laughs, with a musical finale coming a close second. Laughing Stock seems to work best when they push their own boundaries.

Underbelly Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 30 Aug, 2.40pm, £9.50–£10 (£8.50–£9).

Laughing Stock

  • 3 stars

Irreverent. Unnerving. Pointless. Following their sell-out show K.I.S.S. which toured the Camden and Brighton Fringes, and fresh from storming London Sketchfest 2015, four Edinburgh debutants bring you a sketch show unlike no other. Recently released from the funny farm, an institute for the unhinged (not actually) in…