The Runaway Lovers review - SkinnyFest 1

Article by Paul Mitchell | 14 Aug 2006
Eloping to Edinburgh from the ubiquitous Avalon comedy stable, this London-based sketch troupe has high hopes for a successful festival. The enthusiastic (that won't last) PR person handing out flyers delighted in telling us that some of the actors were "extras in Ricky Gervais' TV show 'Extras', so they've got a bit of pedigree". The flyer guy might have had a point: the stage presence and acting ability of each of the five protagonists is assured. On the face of it, the subject matter of the actual sketches isn't an imagination stretcher (police lineup, gay flatmate, speed dating shenanigans, et cetera) but a concerted effort is made to inject a twist of originality into each scene. Unfortunately, these don't always work; a newsreader calamitously mixing up the day's stories becomes tedious quite quickly, no matter how bizarrely the scene unfolds. There are, however, some genuinely funny highlights: a short vignette about nervous wedding preparations, and the occasional appearance of Carla, the maniacal maneater, hint at serious potential. Some more belly laughs wouldn't go amiss, though.
The Runaway Lovers, Pleasance Courtyard, until August 28, 16:45, £9.50/£8.50 (£8/£7).