“ Pleasance Theatre, 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ, United Kingdom Tel: +44 131 556 1513 „
Live comedy can be hit or miss and this troop of sketch-inspired comedians are unbelievable. I believe they appeared on television about 6 months back and it didn't translate too well. If you did manage to catch that, please ignore it and go see them live.
They were a massive hit at Edinburgh in 2008 and more recently i have seen them do their 'Funergy' show in Hammersmith, where they have built upon it and tidied it up. All the same it is still full of the frantic funergy and wacky sketches that make Pappy's Fun Club a unique and exhilerating show.
Who are they? Well they are four twenty-something guys (Brendan, Tom, Matthew and Ben) who each bring some refreshing comedy to the stage yet gel together to create a dynamic band of laughmerchants. The obvious (yet hilarious) jokes come from Tom, Matthew is often character based and the whipping boy, Brendan the apparent straight guy and Ben the slightly slow one.
On stage my immediate thought was that these guys could be annoying in that youthful, middle-class, snobbish comedy (that I am probably jealous of) yet all images of that were wiped out within minutes. Out came Ben as a 'Minstrel,' Matthew as an 'Owl,' Tom as 'the internet' and suddenly I was transfixed into another world of comic surreality, slapstick and intelligent wit. The costumes and props are absolutely amazing in that very amateur way which goes down well with crowds. Their ability to be funny and put themselves down about it works extremely well . Also the way that there loose series of sketches collaborate together to narrate an overall story was great, especially as they clearly didn't need to take their act seriously.
This is what makes them great masters: They manage to mess around and have fun and enjoy themselves as much as the audience without losing any integrity in their art.
All in all, go and see them if you have a chance.
Returning for their second successful year at the Edinburgh Fringe, the energetic whippersnappers of Pappy's Fun Club have cobbled together a new show of zany antics and quick-fire turnarounds, loosely held together by what they imagine to be an epic plot.
If there's one show I'd recommend at the Edinburgh festival to appeal to audiences of various ages, tastes, creeds and orientations, it would be Pappy's Fun Club. Even if you hate it, you get a free badge at the end to decorate your jacket. This is the kind of performance I love to see at the Fringe, as the four performers dash around in an almost literal revolving door of characters, situations and abstract concepts personified, extremely well choreographed and so full of fun and energy that the team have been forced to coin a new phrase: 'Funergy.'
The overarching plot involves the Fun Club's attempt to power their show with some kind of funergy machine, and there's something about a whale, but it isn't necessary to get bogged down in the details. The recurring characters help to create the illusion of coherence and avoid this being a mere string of unconnected sketches that can be dipped in an out of like the stand-up of Tim Vine. It's also amusing to observe the seemingly genuine animosity between certain Fun Club members, as scenes are improvised or changed merely to irritate.
Although this is technically an adult show, I would have loved it just as much as a kid, and indeed the enthusiasm of the performers is oddly reminiscent of children's television presenters. And what other show at the festival features an enormous pirate blue whale, the anthropomorphising of the internet and the City of Nottingham?
'Pappy's Fun Club: Funergy' is on at the Pleasance's Cabaret Bar, from 30th July to 25th August 2008 (not 11th) at 6:40pm, lasting one hour. Tickets cost £12 - £14 (£10.50 - £12.50 concessions).