At moments, Full Front Prudity is an example of cohesive collective student comedy at its best. In the small, informal Pembroke Cellars that can often generate awkward intimacy, the cast, who have featured in numerous Footlights Smokers, work well to ensure that their pub set-up provides an immersive and often hilarious evening of comedy.
Providing free beers to all audience members, the show is shaped by the creation of ‘The Cricketer’s Legs’. This is a pub presided over by landlord Ruari Bride, which allows for a clever unifying device, with all sketches (however loosely) relevant to the goings-on of the small country pub. Whilst other Cambridge sketch shows often seem haphazardly pieced together, this is intelligently interconnected and, aside from an uncomfortable moment revolving around an ISIS joke, is consistently successful in garnering laughs.
Although there are some flaws in performance towards the beginning, with one instance of forgetting lines and some corpsing, the sketches gather visible momentum as the show progresses. Particular highlights include a dispute between Enrico Hallworth and Adam Woolf, surviving an accident with a pair of glasses very smoothly, and the whole troupe’s hilarious rendition of ‘Next Hype’. It's the relationships between the cast that render the show most impressive, as the ensemble nature of most of their sketches create a consistently high level of engagement, ensuring that laughter continues throughout.
The show is characterised by a self-consciousness that elevates the best sketches – particularly one involving MI5 and Jasmine Rees’ excellent cowboy villain. A few parts, however, are weakened by this as there seems to be an awareness on the cast’s part that these didn’t match up to the more successful moments of the performance.
Allowing for the usual hiccups of opening night, Full Frontal Prudity demonstrates both excellent writing and acting as well as a comedy troupe with a very successful group dynamic. The sharp, varying humour creates a volume of impressively diverse material and the initially awkward moments of the beginning fade away, ensuring that the show is far more than just the free pint it advertises and not to be missed.