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Edinburgh Fringe 2011

The Dog-Eared Collective: You’re Better Than This

Dog-Eared Collective

Genre: Comedy




Low Down

This sketch troupe formed in 2005, and though you wouldn’t call them slick, they are fabulously enjoyable. Their comedy is silly and unexpected, and guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.


What a breath of fresh air this ramshackle troupe are. Their work is charmingly unpolished, their costumes hastily home-made. But boy, is their comedy real comedy. I’m talking proper, laugh-out-loud, unpretentious, silly, comedy.


The sketches are genuinely surprising, original and above all, fun. There is nothing laboured about the scenarios, punchlines or pay-offs, and they seem to come naturally and with gusto. There is a bit of audience interaction (nothing too challenging), and a great sound track of blaring classic pop hits.


A medley from Snooker: The Musical! Gets an outing, while a demo from choose-your-own-wake party planners is delightfully subversive. A recurring character in the form of Pablo, a diminutive super hero whose power is awareness raising about the plight of short people. One sketch takes place almost entirely in Italian – a Venetian version of Top Gear – and I really don’t know much Italian, but it still made sense, and better than sense, it made us laugh.


What’s also really great to see is a group that bucks the strong trend of all-male or all-female sketch comedy (see Idiots of Ants, Lady Garden, The Boom Jennies, The Beta Males, Clever Peter, Late Night Gimp Fight, The Noise Next Door for examples of this), with three women and a man. It’s nice to see confirmed what I always suspected: that people can be funny out of single-sex environments, and perhaps a bit of co-ed comedy even enhances the gene pool.


These four would be a great addition to the writers team of a TV comedy show, and although they’re not yet slick enough to make the transfer entirely themselves, they could potentially shake things up in a few years’ time.