Fringe Comedy Reviews: Late-Night Laughs
Keeping a late-night crowd in check is hard for any comedian, but at some shows the anarchy is encouraged. With that in mind, we look at two cases for consideration: This Is Your Trial and Miss Behave's Game Show
Airing the beefs of a slightly drunken crowd seems a surefire way of sourcing comedy, and the premise of This is Your Trial [★★☆☆☆] is an interesting one: two comedians from across the Fringe serve as defence and prosecution lawyers, and another two as slightly inebriated judge and clerk, to the trials of selected audience members. Accused by their friends, the defendants are then subject to an improvised cross-examination by the barristers, who never seem to really know what they're doing, and the audience act as the jury. This evening, the show is a bit too haphazard, as throwing insults around and sourcing crimes from the crowd leads to relationship gripes and dirty laundry being aired on-stage, rather than strong comedy material. However, when finding someone guilty we are treated to a creative range of comedic sentences, from basic housework to being recruited into the court itself and this highlights the potential the show may reach on another day.
Just as much a part of the show as her scrappy cardboard set, the audience in Miss Behave's Gameshow [★★★★☆] is split into two teams, and we quickly bond together, dead set on defeating our opponents. Meaningless, unfair, and full of fun and colour, Gameshow claims to be an allegory for life itself, and we are encouraged to cheat as often as possible to win points at arbitrary moments to claim an undefined prize. Technology is an integral part of the show, and we are encouraged to keep our smartphones on so that we can find hidden surprises both online and off, and send in all the naughty pictures we want.
The games themselves prize wit and bravery over any kind of knowledge, with tasks such as sending the audience scurrying over themselves to find another cardboard sign secreted around the room, or leaping on-stage to do something very stupid in the name of winning. As a host, Miss Behave is like your fun auntie dressed as a mirror-ball: stern with us when she needs to be and humouring us when she doesn't; covered in glitter and full to the brim with charm. A perfect start to a night out, even for those of us who aren't usually fans of the variety show format; like a wonderfully silly, roaringly funny disco-themed pub quiz with no losing team.