Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Late Night Gimp Fight are a five-strong comedy group; here they present an hour of sharp, short and occasionally very clever sketch comedy.
There are dozens of sketch comedy troupes flyering out on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe, and Late Night Gimp Fight admirably brand themselves as something a little bit different. Their trademark gimp masks represent what they call their dark, off-the-wall sketch comedy that will “leave you feeling violated – in a good way”. Underneath the masks, all five come across as quite amiable, endearing people – it doesn’t take them long to form a bond with the audience and get them on side.
Despite the gimp-theme, Late Night Gimp Fight are not quite as dark as they think they are. Without spoiling any of the punchlines, their “darker” sketches sometimes feel predictable and easy – similar jokes have been made before. Like any sketch show, the material is a mixed bag – some of the writing is weak, and the recurring gags used in the show frankly aren’t strong enough to repeat in the first place. Despite this, none of the sketches outstay their welcome: the fast-paced nature of the show works in its favour, and all the material is performed with enthusiasm and energy.
The funniest sketches Late Night Gimp Fight have to offer are, ironically, not the darker ones. The five performers are all at their best when they’re at their silliest and most theatrically inventive. It’s refreshing to see a comedy troupe like this performing sketches that rely on genuinely clever, surprising and original physical comedy (their “hoodies” sketch is one of the most ridiculous and bizarre ideas for a sketch I’ve ever seen: it’s almost worth the ticket price for that few minutes alone). The group clearly benefit from skilful, clever direction: visually, the show works a treat, and the presentation of many of their ideas works wonderfully. Everything is well-choreographed, slick, and well-rehearsed. The group clearly have a ball on stage, and the audience were caught up in their momentum and were laughing throughout.
Ultimately, then, Late Night Gimp Fight provide an immensely entertaining hour of sketch comedy: occasionally weak or repetitive (which sketch group isn’t?) – but frequently clever, original and very funny. Not quite unmissable, then, but certainly recommended.