Written by Will Hislop and Barney Fishwick, More Funny is the Buttless Chaps’ latest endeavour, following up from their debut in Trinity term of Some Funny. Performing 18 sketches in just 50 minutes was always going to be a challenge, yet, as the Buttless Chaps danced into their first sketch, and introduced themselves through a hilarious rendition of Is This The Way to Amarillo? I knew I was in for a good show.
The funniest sketches, however, were most definitely the more relatable ones. The aptly named ‘Clubbing’ sketch had audience members laughing so much since it’s something that everyone has experienced – meeting someone you vaguely know in a club and not really having anything to say.
The ‘Gap Year Experience’, however, was my personal favourite. There are so many gap year parodies today that when I looked at the programme I thought this might be an unoriginal piece, but I was very wrong. Phoebe Hames perfectly portrayed the optimistic gap year student and Kieran Ahern cleverly and hilariously ridiculed the charity-trip-to-Africa concept, even at one point sarcastically commenting, ‘And now you’ll help with building a wall, because if there’s one thing they haven’t got in Africa, it’s man power!’ Barney Fishwick and Will Hislop’s fight turned dance during the sketch of a German musical also deserves a mention here, since it was a particular highlight for me; it was both wonderfully weird and very funny.
Although the sketches themselves were obviously intensely rehearsed and practiced, the transitions between the scenes were not so slick. With minor delays in sound and lighting, and at one point one of the actors leaving the scene before the lights had gone out, there was a sense that the production had been hurriedly threaded together at the end. There were not always links between sketches, which made being thrown into a whole new idea and concept slightly uncomfortable at times, especially when the sketch was so short that by the time the audience was getting into it, it had ended and was going into the next one.
Yet this is not to say that there was no over-arching story line. I loved the sketches in which the actors parodied themselves, which structured the show a bit more, and the sub-plot of Will Hislop being in love with Phoebe Hames was perfectly performed, with the awkwardness and disappointment being tangible.
Although the Buttless Chaps have a lot to live up to, considering the hype that has been mustered the sketch show definitely lived up to it. For an hour of your time filled with laughs and jokes, More Funny is definitely worth that £5, as referenced in their opening song.
More Funny will be playing at 9:30 at the BT Studio every night until Saturday. Tickets are available here