This time last year it was obvious that Pappy’s Fun Club were going to be legitimately entitled to charge for their show. Having stormed the Free Fringe with an accomplished show performed on a stage little bigger than a shoe box, the troupe’s imagination was patently bigger than the venue they were sharing. Thankfully there’s no such problem this year.
After having assembled such a collection of memorable characters (oh dear God, for the day this lot replace Little Britain), the group have bravely decided to write an hour of all-new material. Unfortunately the quartet’s discernible chemistry isn’t quite enough to carry them through what appears to be a relatively disappointing first half hour. The first few sketches don’t quite hit their mark (though the group’s Bob Dylan sketch is almost worth the price of admission alone just to see Matthew Crosby ‘on’ drums) and the group occasionally play the chaos just the wrong side of am-dram. But then things kick up a notch and the depth that has only been scarcely hinted at is revealed, much to the audience’s inevitable delight.
The finale is one of the most inventive things you’re going to see on the Fringe all year, cleverly orchestrated and betraying the illusion that that Pappy’s Fun Club is just a well-tuned shambles. A special mention should also be made of Tom Parry’s ‘Taxman’, a character of such giddy comedic carnage that he threatens to steal the show.
It seems that change is good after all. Pappy’s Fun Club is the kind of caper in short supply at the Fringe, a healthy antidote to your common-or-garden-variety sketch show.
Catch the show at the C Soco, 4.30pm daily.