Muriel: Bad Master
- Brian Donaldson
- 7 August 2017
A sketch trio who might be in trouble with their improv pals
They've packed a lot into their Fringe debut have sketch trio Muriel. You may know them already from such online japes as If Tube Lines Were People, If Festivals Were People and The Great British Political Bake Off. Others might have been tempted to simply regurgitate or remould for the Fringe stage those kind of successes (yes, Gap Yah, we're looking at you) but this threesome (America's Janine Harouni, England's Meg Salter and Ireland's Sally O'Leary) have clearly laboured hard to get a whole new collection of broken comedy together for August.
Bad Master (a delightfully ambiguous title) kicks off with a meeting of live action and screen work as the trio have trouble getting much sense out of their elderly parents who either have no understanding of their offspring's life, do their best to undermine them or can't quite get the technology to work.
But it's not just old folk who get it firmly in the neck from the Muriels as the vlogging community are deservedly ripped into, while in a bold move that you'd imagine won't make them especially welcome down the Adlib Society, the worst aspects of improv are brought out into the open.
In order to keep things ticking over and get those awkward costume-switches turning over smoothly, the Mu crew have opted for running video while they get the next outfits on: in one very amusing moment it's clear that one bit of footage isn't quite long enough to cover up the time required for them to change: if it wasn't in fact planned, this may well stay in the show given the positive audience reaction. Fresh ground might not be smashed open during an hour of Muriel, but there are likely to be fewer more enjoyable sketch affairs this month.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 27 Aug (not 14), 1.20pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).