FRINGE REVIEW – Idiots of Ants: Model Citizens

*****

The Edinburgh Festival plays host to over 100 comedy sketch groups, but only one comes out on top as the reigning champions of consistent awesomeness. The ‘Idiots’ have returned to this years festival with a brand new show, reminding us why it is they are still wearing the crown when it comes to this style of entertainment.

As you enter the room, you realise that the show has already started happening around you and you can only anticipate what they are setting you up for. These absolute masters of creating engaging sketches don’t fail to deliver an abundance of hilarious sketches. Ranging from sarcastic takes on devious observations to the completely surreal, the four piece take us on a captivating journey over 60 minutes.

The rate at which the sketches come is something to be marveled. They barely give you time to pick yourself up from laughing before they storm straight in to the next sketch. It’s fair to say that while everyone is going to enjoy certain sketches more than others, every sketch is of an incredibly high standard.

These guys have been on a pretty impressive journey over the last few years, from performing at comedy festivals all over the world (boasting a notable request from John Cleese to perform with them on stage), their TV appearances, radio shows and an impressive touring schedule, they’ve not been short of time to hone their skills working together and it’s really paid off. The chemistry between the four guys develops year on year. It’s evident they’re able to venture off script where necessary and trust each other’s skills to resolve all situations perfectly.

Without giving anything away, a definite highlight is Andy’s ability to appear at the right moment dressed in the most fitting of costumes. They also have a real skill for capitalising on audience interaction. You can always guarantee that at some point during their show, you’re going to somehow become involved with it and this year is no exception. It’s what makes an Idiots of Ants show so memorable.

As great as this show is, I just didn’t feel that it was their best work. I still feel their 2009 performance was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen of any genre. They set the bar so high that year, it was always going to be hard to beat. I’m not convinced this show did that, but I am also certain they’re going to consistently come back with strong material.

If you’ve never seen these guys in action before or if you’re not traditionally a fan of sketch comedy, rest-assured that with Idiots of Ants you are in safe hands. If you have seen them, you already know what to expect. You will not be disappointed.

By Colin McLeod

Until 29th Aug 2000 (2030)  @  The Pleasance

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