Goodbear (3 stars)

This article is from 2017


Steve Ullathorne

Rapid-fire sketches and characters play out a mixed-bag dance of death

Set in the Hotel Après Vie, we're introduced to a collection of oddball and occasionally comedically sinister characters who are (spoiler alert for non-French speakers) no longer among the living. Joe Barnes (the shorter one) and Henry Perryment (the taller one) play out a whole host of creations residing or heading for an establishment which could have borrowed the final line of 'Hotel California' for its motto: 'you can check out any time you like / but you can never leave.'

Among the successful sequences in this rapid-fire set is the snake-like hissing devil-brother taunting his sibling to join him down in the pits of hell (there's a pay-off that's mercifully one of the few here that you can't spot coming), and the pyromaniacal little girl who appears to have done an awful thing. On the downside is the dim-witted US sports star offering tedious and cliché-ridden platitudes in a post-match interview and the cosmically inclined yoga instructors (quite a few of those kicking around this Fringe it seems).

The pair are clearly enjoying themselves out there and have acting talent to burn, but it's all just a little too self-possessed to be fully loveable. Amid the flurry of scenes there are a couple of moments when it's not crystal clear who's who, but enough memorable routines exist to compensate.

Pleasance Dome, until 27 Aug, 9.40pm, £9–£11 (£8–£10).


  • 3 stars

Berk's Nest The critically acclaimed sketch comedy duo are back. Join Joe Barnes and Henry Perryment as they confirm your reservation at the Fringe’s most mysterious hotel, inhabited above and below stairs by all manner of wonderfully eccentric characters. Accompanied by an original score! 'The writing is exceptional…