Fringe Online 2020
The Lost Comics are a radical community of pro comedians exploring innovative new ways to connect with global audiences, so there!
They use short-form comedy to bring comics and audiences together in the digital age, while supporting the artists and rewriting the rules.
The Lost Comics is You Tube published, sort of sketch show, made by a selection of stand up comedians. I am reviewing Series 2, Episode 1, The Lock Down, an easily understandable theme.
This was my first look at The Lost Comics. Several of the comedians involved were familiar names on the touring circuit, Edinburgh, and TV, setting an expectation that this may be worth a look.
The premise for the show is a series of wildly different sketches, each interlinked by a different comic/s, focused on the theme of lock down. The style is quick, clever, comedy, that is sharply delivered.
Katie Pritchard opens the show, with a very funny song about being locked inside. What stands out is the quality of her voice, enabling jokes to be delivered with conviction, and great effect. Given the quality of the singing, the sub-titles are unnecessary, but they seem to fit current trend. Once it ends, Josh Howie and Caroline Mabey introduce us to the next clip, in which Marney Godden does something puzzlingly charming, and a touch surreal. Then Megan Shandley, presents a YouTube make-up channel. Now we are in the world of satire, Megan brings sufficient authenticity to ‘the presentation’ for it to be all too believable, and give the genre a real kick.
Next up, Carl Donnelly introduces an American comic, Shannoah Allen. Shannoah is in his bathroom getting a lockdown haircut from his barber, Shannoah Allen! Playing both parts, he covers all aspects of a barber-shop haircut. Once this is over, Tony Law introduces us to Tom Stade’s inspirational quotes. It is good to focus on something positive in these difficult times, failing that the dark humour in this is a nice twist, as is the sudden change of pace. Almost like an interlude.
Simon Munnery is to be found in his garden, showing his support by engaging in some outdoor clapping, then it’s off to Glastonbury 2020! (Gareth Berliner and Kiruna Stamell). After a pop-festival it’s sport with Nick Doody and indoor Formula One. This is followed by a quick word with Vileda Moppe, a Public Service Appeal from Stevie Martin and her very disturbing condition, before the show ends with Ben Norris singing America is Mental. Phew!
A 21-minute show (I didn’t check the run time before viewing), 18 comedians, songs, sketches, jokes, chat and a whole lot more. I’ll be honest, it makes a review tricky, especially when you want to avoid giving away any of the gags.
Several things stand out about this show. The production values are near TV quality, there is no grainy video feed or jerky sound. The links are smoothly sequenced, and it is sharply edited. There are a lot of pictures used in the show, again, they are well-chosen, and help generate the roller-coaster feeling of ‘racing through’ as your brain tries to process everything going on. Even the graphics are sharp and on-point. As for the comics, they are all talented and experienced comedians, and it shows. The material is pared to the bone, there is no time for wasted words, actions or graphics. It is very well put together.
As with any sketch show, not every gag or sketch works. In this case, they are delivered so quickly that you don’t have time to notice the misses. The range of comedy; satire, surreal, musical, absurdist, jokes, puns, dialogue, means that sooner or later something is going to get you, and if it doesn’t the show is only 21 minutes long. But then, there are all those other episodes that you missed.
This is very good work, sharply delivered, and worth a look. Even if you don’t enjoy the whole show, it will bring a host of new comedians to your attention, and that is not a bad thing.