DarkChat - Reviewing the Edinburgh Fringe since 2008

DarkChatLogo-full DarkChatLogo-full

Babushka - A Sketch Show

Just The Tonic at The Mash House (Venue 288),

Saturday 6th August, 12.20


Having arrived in Edinburgh at 9.00 am it seemed only right to see our 1st show a little over 3 hours later. But where to start?


We love sketch comedy but frankly it appears to be a dying art. Our historical favourites including Penny Dreadfuls, Idiots Of

Ants, The Ginge The Geordie & The Geek have all gone quiet and we are struggling to find any replacements.


So, mainly due to the time factor we chose "Cambridge Footlights performers at Just The Tonic at the Mash House. The title

"Babushka" comes from the Russian tradition of dolls within dolls but substituting sketches instead. An interesting and unusual

concept which works extremely well. You can't always follow the link but that isn't important. What matters is the quality of the

writing, and here we are in safe hands.


They explain at the start this is no frills comedy, no sets, no props but cover this with youthful exhuburance and talent.


Like any comedy show you need a strong start so the audience can relax and boy did we get it. Table Football & Flyering set

the bar so high it was inevitable they would be unable to sustain this lever for an hour.  As usual some sketches were better

than others, personally I preferred the longer sketches with more characterisation but if a sketch is funny it doesn't matter how long it is.


All 3 performers were impressive (in fact Legs and I had completely different lists of our favourites) and the writing was a class above other student sketch shows we have seen at past festivals.


My only suggestion would be to tweak the running order as the 2nd half seemed flatter and the James Bond final could be stronger.


But, for our 1st show of this year's festival this as at a higher level than we expected and a VERY impressive debut from a trio we will continue to watch closely in the future.


(In fact late arrival to Edinburgh Phil was so impressed by our review that I have just bought him tickets to watch the show on Tuesday).




Babushka: A Sketch Show plays daily until Aug 28 (not 15th)

at Just The Tonis at The Mash House (Venue 288)