Switch: A Sketch Show

Fri 9th – Sat 10th October 2015

reviews

Stefan Bencik

at 10:04 on 10th Oct 2015

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The premise to leave “the flow of the bodily geography uninterrupted,” with the sketches beginning in the same (or similar) position to where the previous one ended, was delivered and proved effective. Not only did the sketches usually succeed in a fast-paced tempo, not allowing the audience respite from ever-returning bursts of laughter, but it also gave the production a distinct and original formal unity. In the beginning, although the actors warned the audience that the transitions might still be a bit “rough,” overall, they contributed very much to the show’s smoothness and hilarity.

One may only wish that the effectivness of the transitions, supported by the bluish darkness that they happened within, might be matched by a visual unity between the costumes and stage, something teasingly hinted towards by the promo adverts. The costumes were generally unintrusive, even though they seemed somewhat random and uncoordinated. However, the Corpus stage was, unfortunately, still occupied by the wreck of a nuclear submarine from 'Launch', and even though the cast’s appropriation of this as a “German BDSM dungeon” was funny enough and after a couple of sketches the whole bizzare construction disappeared from one’s attention, even giving a fittingly surreal background to sketches of that persuasion, this smooth sketch show clearly deserved an empty stage. With that and a bit more attention to costuming, the visual elements of 'Switch' could have been as effective as its transitions.

But, returning to the main point, the comedy was very good. Most of the time, the sketches varied successfully both in tempo and style, and were... you know, funny. I felt like there could perhaps have been more political humour (portrayed as Sam Knights’ annoying agenda in the more meta parts of the show) seeing as the audience generally appreciated the bits that were left in. Nevertheless, the surreal sketches, the sketches exploring the vast grey borders of political correctness, the utterly silly sketches, all these and many more, were delivered with élan and persuasion that made it very hard for the audience not to laugh.

As for the acting, I very much enjoyed Joe Shalom’s spot-on timing and vocal qualities, as well as Sam Knights' usual mannerisms, which even though they could be felt to be a bit too similar to anything else he does, did not fail to amuse either me, or the audience. Harrie Gooch’s performance had its low moments, but based on the high ones, she fitted well into a generally strong cast.

Well done, the cast. People, go and see it!

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