Edinburgh Fringe 2015
Late night grass up your pal stuff where you get a comedian to defend you, another to attack you, a third in the judge’s chair and a court usher there for order. In the course of one night the format tries three cases from the audience of miscreants who turned up in George Square and brought a pal ready to dob them in. By the end of the hour we have got no closer to the truth but handed out plenty of punishment – uncannily like the real thing, allegedly…
I arrive to the finest looking box on the Edinburgh Fringe. To say it is decked out in splendour would be to give imagination free reign over a portacabin. The format is that we have 3 comedians – John Hastings as prosecutor, Adrianne Truscott as defender and Jessica Fortesque as the judge (along with her foetus of justice). They are brought in to give theatre to cases brought by accusations from one member of the audience upon another. We see the court case and by acclamation decide guilty or not guilty, or likely to be one or the other but we like to make trouble and cause justice pain by voting the wrong way. No matter what way you look at it, it needs to make you laugh.
We begin with one young lady – a legal student with a potential legal minefield attached. I am sworn to keeping the details to myself but court stenographer, @pennybabakhani has all of it publicly accounted for. For the second case we take accountant Dave to task for being so bored he was constantly on the phone during the first case. It ends with him pleading for a Not Proven but being an accountant makes pleading against boredom difficult; Guilty. Finally a young lady whose nocturnal activities reportedly caused her boyfriend’s parents consternation as they saw her naked truth. She pled guilty to avoid the trial but we did get to hear it was all too much for their relationship and caused a break up.
This was a hilarious end of evening treat and therefore very risqué comedy event. It does depend upon a number of factors. Do the audience have miscreants willing to be put on the stand? Are their transgressions interesting? Can the comedians do their soliciting well? On the evidence of tonight the answers are varied.
Firstly the audience did not really give us good comedy material. It was down to the skill, of both clerk and judge that we got some fine comedy out of them. This evening our lawyers were not completely on sparkling form. There were elements of comedy but not enough for their performances to make any headway with their juries. That there were judgments all over the place was not testimony to difficult cases in the court but to a lack of handle on how cases could be defended or prosecuted.
It was, however worthy of being caught on canvass. Unfortunately our first court artist, Dave, handed the task to his friend. What followed was not worthy of applause on the night and frankly not worthy of all these words now.
It was, however a very worthy endeavour. If you are looking for a good final and late night laugh – this shall serve the ends of justice badly thus allowing you to guffaw at someone else’s expense.