Brighton Fringe 2010
Clever Peter bring sketches about life, men and women to the Three and Ten in a fast-pace show that hits the heights.
FringeReview once described Clever Peter as breaking the mould, ranging more widely and offering sharper comedy than many of their contemporaries in the sketch comedy game.
Then they settled into a successful groove and were in danger of becoming a mould of their own, ready to broken by other, newer kids on the humour block. In Edinburgh last year, Fringereview was disappointed with their offering which lacked the energy and inventive punch of previous shows.
Well, this reviewer is delighted to have witnessed tonight an outstanding example of cutting edge sketch comedy. Clever Peter are back with ginger and blonde wigs, blood spattered laughs and a masterclass in quick fire, laugh-every-few-seconds sketches.
They transform hooligan chants into Kumbaya with perfect ease and the Cake Fairy is going to give me nightmares I shall look forward to.
Their comedy has a refreshing directness; their comedy has simplexity – simple ideas at core, yet not afraid to explore the complexity of life. They inhabit each scene instantaneously and every character is fully realised. Physical and verbal, it’s an exemplar in team comic delivery
Sketches tend to be based around one idea or single scenario and, for that to work as comedy, the ideas need to be strong. And mostly, they are. They’re classically observational, yet it’s the modulation of realism and caricature that is theatrically unique and comedically original.
Punchlines are occasionally weaker than the preceding narratives that lead up to them. Sometimes that leads to groany endings, but mostly it allows the sketches to end profoundly, sinking in, often, well, cleverly! And the audience, myself included, laughed a laughter that lingered well into the subsequent sketches. That’s always a good sign – when you actually can’t stop laughing.
A strength is the diversity of scenes, characters and a real sense of freshness about the delivery that could more than give the League of Gentlemen a run for their money. And they give 110% – rarely have I seen such high energy and commitment remain controlled and consistently skilled, except for the chair that kept falling over on the tiny stage). And I think, excellent as it is, it will get even sharper and better as the run progresses.
Vulgar, hilarious, occasionally very moving, it’s tour de force delivery and very clever. Yes Clever Peter are very, very, very, very clever. Outstanding work.