Edinburgh Review: Pappy’s Fun Club

Pappy’s Fun Club have done it again with another hour of irresistible, barely controlled comedy chaos, writes Paul Fleckney.

Pappys_Fun_Club1Cheesy as it sounds, I fail to see how anyone could leave this show without a smile on their face. Last year’s Funergy was a hard act to follow but their 2009 show is at least as good.

What starts out as a quick-fire sketch show (in order to break the world record) develops into the story of their striving to achieve this record, with all its highs and lows. In other words: not only do you get inventive, wonderfully puerile sketches, you get an adventure.

From this foundation we are introduced to various characters including Robert Walpole – the world’s tallest man – and the world’s smallest woman, an evil quaker and Dean the dinosaur. No point in trying to explain what all that’s about here, but, as with Funergy, the fact that the characters are contributing to a mini-story elevates this above standard stop-start sketching.

The loose, informal feel is the key to Pappy’s success and it makes larking look incredibly easy to make funny. They laugh at each other’s jokes and Tom Parry’s interruptions and ad libs (which include mentions of him pissing off Rhod Gilbert), there is some requisite Pappy’s part-nudity (Matthew Crosby’s bottom gets another airing this year) and it doesn’t matter whether a late entrance or hastily appropriated costume is contrived – how they deal with it is funny. In short, this is barely controlled comedic chaos.

Pappy’s have gone up a few notches in venue size this year. They could have tried to be more slick and TV-friendly but it wouldn’t suit. Instead have created another stormer of a show that pushes their talents to the limit and makes a virtue of their shortcomings. A hilarious, cockle-warming triumph.
Five stars

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