Review: Comic Sans Men Again

Helena Carone Wheatley 6 March 2020

‘Comic Sans Men, Again’ is the second comeback of this all-female and non-binary group of improv comedians, and it’s brilliant. Prepare yourself for unaffected, unpolished, unpretentious comedy.

Beware that every night has a different cast – this review won’t be useful to those looking to find out how the performers did individually. I can only speak for my experience last night, which I’m sure the production team and tonight’s and tomorrow night’s cast will recreate for their respective audiences. So, I will tell you what to expect – and hopefully these expectations will be fulfilled.

Image credit: Jade Franks

First, expect true improvisation. The audience provides the monologist (last night it was the excellent Lucy Summerfield) with random words and she does stand-up with what she’s got and throws a few one-liners on the spot. This part made me think of the ‘Wheel of News’ on ‘Mock the Week’ – if you like that, you’ll like this. Then, the improvisors sketch out several bits vaguely to do with the prompt words. For the very little they have to work with – last night it was words like ‘hairdresser’ and ‘Red Bull’ – it really is very impressive.

Second, expect self-awareness. The show doesn’t pretend to be cutting-edge or polished: there are cockups and some jokes don’t land, but that’s part of the fun. The improvisors harness the absurdity of their prompts and create equally absurd bits.

Image credit: Jade Franks

Third, expect simplicity. There are no props other than a few chairs, the improvisors and monologist wear all black, there is minimal moving around on stage apart from those actively participating. This is a real strength to the show: a lot of comedy is overdone with slapstick, cumbersome props, clown-like costumes, and ‘Comic Sans Men, Again’ did well to steer clear of this.

Overall, this show is very much worth going to. There are not nearly enough women in comedy, and they are almost always undervalued. No matter which night you go, prepare to laugh a lot.

4 stars