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mixed doubles

Part of the magic of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is that, occasionally, you come across a nugget of gold when you least expect it. When I was given the opportunity to review Mixed Doubles: Fundraiser at Just The Tonic at The Caves in the city’s Cowgate, I went – as I always do – with an open mind.

Mixed Doubles is – as the name suggests – a two male, two female comedy act with Paul Aitchison, Will Close, Rose Robinson and Megan Smith. The show has been adapted from the BBC Radio Four show Sketchorama and if you haven’t heard of these four very talented performers yet, believe me, you certainly will in years to come. For this is one of the funniest shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

It’s an hour long sketch show but it’s an hour that flies by – and at the end has the hugely appreciative audience wanting more. The underlying plot of the show – if you can call it a plot – is of a village hall fundraising event (hence the title of the show) for an unworthy cause. But it’s really an hour of very funny gags and very impressive performances from the hugely talented cast of four. All the performers work really well together with a slick show and a variety of sketches that are as impressive as they are rapid.

The running Jools Holland gag hits the target every time and all four performers have conceived some hilarious anecdotes that certainly had me – and the rest of the audience – laughing out loud. The show is fast-moving and, although there are some sexual references, the performance steers clear of the toilet humour that some acts sink to. A swift turnaround between scenes and a rapid costume changing routine – referred to in the humourous recorded narration – leaves the audience little time to draw breath.

I left the show hugely impressed. So many of today’s leading comedy acts began life at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I have no doubt Paul Aitchison, Will Close, Rose Robinson and Megan Smith will be household names in years to come. So remember where you saw them perform live in the early days.

Mixed Doubles – Fundraiser – is very clever, fast-moving show. Try and catch it if you can. But watch out for the raffle!

Edinburgh Reporter Review: *****  Tickets available here