Review: Market Square: Fresh Sketch Produce

Friso de Graaf 15 November 2019

We’ve all walked past the market square at the centre of town, we’ve probably talked to the various vendors and sellers whose stalls occupy the square, but what goes on in their day-to-day lives?

Who are these market people really? This is what Market Square seeks to answer in a silly, fun, and light-hearted manner and has the audience leave with a smile on their face.

We’re greeted initially with a charming set, bunting and food crates across the stage. The lights come down, the cast run to the stage in colourful matching aprons and with a singing and dancing opening number the show is off. It’s not the most slick number, but its fun is infectious and this continues throughout the show. The cast of Izzie Harding-Perrott, Matt Davies, Macky Padilla, Lucy Green and Ali Sabi are having fun on stage and it is hard not to feel carried along by that throughout.

We’re introduced to the Market Square and its host of extraordinary characters, larger than life figures who are wonderfully wacky – particular highlights are Macky Padilla’s delightfully unhinged apple salesman and Ali Sabir’s intense but deranged bap vendor. The characters of the Market are this show’s speciality, the cast are deft at poking fun at the ridiculous people that we’ve all come across in our lives but in a sympathetic way. We are left laughing but never feeling that there is anything mean-spirited here, something that other shows occasionally stray into.

The cast is all new to sketch comedy, but watching this show you can barely tell. Izzie Harding-Perrott and Matt Davies as the extreme National Trust representatives are hysterical in their portrayal of what happens when the mild-mannered go wild, and Lucy Green’s deadpan portrayal of a florist who has something for every occasion is a delight to watch. Occasionally we see the inexperience in the ends of sketches lacking a punch, but the next sketch starts with enthusiasm and energy that carries the audience along, laughing all the way.

It may be cold outside, with deadlines fast approaching from every angle, but for an hour on the Corpus stage we forget all that and sit there with a wide smile on our face watching the fantastical characters of the market square whisk us away to whimsical world that might be what we could all do with at this point.

3.5 stars.