Pappy's Last Show Ever

Review by Bernard O'Leary | 24 Aug 2012
  • Pappy's

The weary figures of Pappy's shuffle onstage, gathered together to remember the anniversary of the fateful night when fame, money and women tore their group apart. What happened that night? The old men forget, but the ghosts of their younger selves play out that show again, slowly unveiling the tragic events leading to the demise of the once-mighty Pappy's.

It's a neat device that helps frame a typically frantic Pappy's sketch show, a neat mix of snappy one-off sketches and ideas that build over the hour, carefully referencing cultural icons that match their childlike charm such as The Wizard of Oz and 'Hands, Shoulders, Knees And Toes.' Meanwhile, the story of their break-up is allowed to simmer, finally boiling over in a beautiful piece of audience interaction that makes a nod to the opening scene of Up.

Pappy's will probably win the big comedy award and they'll be a worthy, if slightly conservative choice. They've not started a revolution here and they're still colouring inside the lines of the traditional sketch show but what they have done is push that form as far as possible, attacking it with energy and saturating it with jokes. No other sketch group can hope to compete with this by being funnier or more entertaining. Traditional sketch comedy is dead and it died laughing at Pappy's Last Show Ever. The only hope left now for their rivals is to go off and invent something brand new. Just pray that Pappy's don't get there first.

Pappy's Last Show Ever, Pleasance Dome, until 26 Aug, 8.20pm, Sold Out