Brighton Fringe 2009
Shop Til You Drop
Smarty Pants Productions
Venue: The Sanctuary
Shop Til You Drop is a new production from the comedy stable of Smarty Pants Productions, the Brighton writers’ and actors’ collective. The Sanctuary Cafe played host to the talents of four performers, two male, and two female, who take us on an historical comedy journey through the world of money, and shopping.
Smarty Pants bring a sketch format show that explores our the historical roots of our current economic highs and lows, creates the opportunity for Calolm McGregor, Karen Tribe, Melody Roche and James Weisz to demonstrate their comedy acting skills.
Quickfire sketches , observational comedy, using the device of historical portrayal and parody to hurl light onto our contemporary culture, this really was “theatre of the punchline” and, not all of the punchlines packed the necessary punch. Punchlines must be strong and in the sketch show format, they cannot be space for weak, groany endings.
Highlights included a very funny sketch about estate agents and the property market. Here we had slick performance, great timing, and some strong observational writing. The ongoing sketch about novel ways to generate electricity (I won’t spoil it for you) was also fun and delivered with panache and competence.
There was often a groan at the end of some of the sketches, which is a pity, as the material and performances that preceded the punchlines were often engaging, funny and deserved better quality conclusions. That said, there was much pace and energy and no shortage of talent and character acting skills from a cast of four.
As a comedy treatise on money, on buying and selling, this is a mixed bag but with enough in the comedy basket to keep you amused.
The show demonstrated much promise and the audience seemed to enjoy the often sharp and clever observations on the world of business particularly in these recession worrying months. A particular strength was the ensemble nature of the cast who work well as a comedy team, and who committed physically and vocally a hundred per cent to the material. There are the makings of a high quality, laugh aloud show here; what we currently get is a show with a lot of potential but still enough on offer to make you smile and want to keep watching. Recommended.