Review: WitTank – Pleasance Above, Edinburgh.
WitTank (a.k.a. Naz Osmanoglu, Mark Cooper-Jones and Kieran Boyd) don’t waste any time, do they? Leaping onto the stage with a cracking sketch about a werewolf, they immediately grab us and rarely let us go during this whirlwind hour of character-driven comedy.
And what characters they are. From a hoodie-wearing yeti to a delicious impression of Mozart (Mark has to be a shoo-in for the lead role if they ever do a remake of Amadeus), you hardly have a chance to catch your breath before the next sketch is queued up and knocked out of the park – or rather their packed, and very warm, attic venue.
Neat, clever, little one-shots that require minimal context are always welcome in a sketch show; they give the audience a quick laugh and a second to catch their breath. But they’re vital in a show as energetic and involved as this. WitTank’s bite-sized sections are particularly great, packed with visual gags and much sharper than their longer sketches.
Speaking of involved, it’s difficult not to feel slightly sorry for the repeatedly-chosen volunteer, a game young man in a Star Wars t-shirt. Selecting him for three separate sketches seems slightly cruel, but he does act as WitTank’s running gag of sorts; a clever way of stitching together sketches.
‘Star Wars man’ probably deserved a pint at the end, mind – not one that’s poured into a small cup, in his lap, as part of a butterfly themed sketch. No-one wants to be ‘pollinated’ by a grown man in fairy wings…
As in any sketch show, the high quality material that begins this show isn’t held for the duration: their Spanish Dating sketch and the peculiar couple with an aversion to ‘double dipping’ don’t quite hit the mark. But on the whole, this is a solid hour from WitTank, one which flickers from silly to sardonic, and lowbrow to highbrow, with intelligence and flair.
Date of live review: Monday 6th August 2012.