COMEDY pAppY’S: ALL BUSINESS pLEAsANCE COUrTyArD (VENUE 33) HHHHH
THIs has not been a vintage Fringe for sketch comedy, exemplified by this so-so hour from one of the format’s foremost exponents. With the spectre of the credit crunch looming and bailiffs hauling away their set, Pappy’s have contrived a show from the barest props and the essentials of their imaginations.
They can still startle you with their audacity, taking the concept of the business lunch to a surreal place. Their stripped down, adaptable cardboard box background allows them to switch easily between such set-pieces as a skit of chickens laying eggs, to a joyously daft Olympic medal ceremony. Other elements feel excessively familiar though, such as Tom Parry’s villain threatening the whole enterprise and his special dispensation to ad-lib, to a wholly self-indulgent degree in the show I caught. A visual gag with a pogo stick recurs to diminishing returns and there’s an unfortunate, possibly archly intentional, parallel in the trio’s disregard of multitalented Bowzer the dog with their erstwhile fourth member, Brendan Dodds. For me, this felt as if some members of the group were resting on their laurels.
Until 30 August. Today, 7:20pm