Yellow: A New Sketch Show
This was another fantastic sketch show from some of the Footlights members and it was as well received as one would expect of something from such pillars of the Cambridge comedy community. This show had a wonderful range of sketches and types of humour. There was the physical humour of the bizarre dances and fight scenes, the dark, morbid humour of the suicidal Samaritan sketch and the total inanity of the ice fishing sketch- how can these people make idiocy so amusing? This show definitely has something for everyone and can get anyone laughing.
In addition to long sketches this show was also peppered with some wonderful one-liners. A short comment about the domination of Oxbridge by the white, middle-class, as the four members of the all-white cast stood solemnly to attention, had the audience in hysterics.
The two high points of this show were the transfiguration machine sketch, whose humour was made possible by the immaculate timing of the performers, and the final sketch about the time button; another impeccably timed and orchestrated scene that ventured into the territory of the absurd. This scene was particularly beautifully and bewildering rounded off with a Shakespearean style epilogue by a mysterious fifth actor; I've never seen something quite like this scene in any other sketch show.
The performance was also far better tied together than most sketch shows. Several sketches were interlinked, giving it something resembling a plot. Likewise, the recurrent gorilla motif helped pull the show together, in a somewhat more absurdist way. However, there were some flies in the, otherwise very funny, ointment. Firstly, I was somewhat disappointed to find that this show contained two long sketches that I had already seen at a late show last term. I understand that it's hard for comedians to constantly come up with new material, but it is rather a let-down for us devoted fans, who attend shows regularly, to be subjected to repeats.
Some of the sketches also fell a bit flat. The scene where a woman came to report her son missing started off by being funny but the ending lacked energy and was somewhat predictable. Furthermore, the awards scene, which was fairly funny, was oddly cut short and lacked a punch-line. There was also a somewhat crass joke about the Israel-Palestine conflict, which the rest of the audience seemed to find hilarious, but which left me quite annoyed. I guess when you try to reduce complex political situations to a 30 second joke you're always going to end up irritating someone.
So, to sum up, this show isn't perfect but it is very funny and well put-together and it showcases some excellent comedic talents. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a pick me-up this weekend.