Dutch Elm Conservatoire review - SkinnyFest 2

Article by Chris O | 14 Aug 2006
Prison has never really appealed to me. Bad food, soap, S&M, yeech. Yet, being in prison with last year's Perrier-nominated quintet, the Dutch Elm Conservatoire, is well worth paying money for. Instead of chain-gang labour, your corrective education is to look on in laughing amazement as the most amusing of sketches come one after the other. Once the show gets going, the frantic pace rattles through the mere 60 minutes at such a speed that - and we've all been there - it's a bit of a shock when it's all over. The performers see no reason why they should be confined by the arbitrary boundaries of the stage and leap around in a way that's exhausting just to watch. It's not all high-octane farce, mind you, with enough subtle and well-crafted gags thrown in to keep all your comedy receivers buzzing. Indeed, you should probably be in prison if you don't find it funny. You'll laugh, you'll be bewildered at what your neighbour's laughing at, and you'll leave thinking that maybe prison isn't so bad after all. And boy, can prisoners dance.

[Chris OżÃƒÂ³g]
Ditch Elm Conservatoire in Prison, Pleasance Courtyard, until August 28, 17:00, £9.50/£9 (£8/£7.50).