Edinburgh Fringe 2015 Review: The Shambles

ComedySoc excel in their Fringe follow-up and demonstrate a new-found maturity according to Alex Hackitt-anywl

Image: Comedysoc

Image: Comedysoc


Venue: Space @ Surgeon’s Hall

The Shambles reconvenes again this year at the Space @ Surgeon’s Hall following last year’s success at the venue. Audiences who return this year would certainly not be disappointed and would notice a worthy difference. The Shambles are now becoming a bigger name up at the Edinburgh Fringe and so it is no surprise that they are drawing in solid audiences each night as the word continues to spread.

Shamble veterans Ali Heywood, Lewis Dunn, Louise Jones, Ed Greenwood and Ed Williams alongside newcomers Ben Pearson and Marcus Crabb take to the stage to wow viewers with some incredible improvised comedy. The entire show is expertly fronted by ex comedysoc chair, James Gamblin who ensures smooth transitions between games and scenes. The dynamics between this group of comics are impeccable as they form something close to the dream team, with energy just bouncing across the stage. Ali Heywood gave a particularly excellent performance: driving many of the plot scenes with his impressive lightning fast reactions and sharp jokes. Ed Greenwood’s dry humour and Lewis Dunn’s sarcastic wit also deserve a mention to top off a strong team.

The Edinburgh Fringe is the true home of improvised comedy and before seeing the Shambles this summer I had seen various other shows from universities and groups up and down the country. But what remains clear is how sleek and professional they are when measured-up against similar groups. Improvised comedy is notoriously difficult and sometimes open to harsher criticism, but the Shambles absolutely nail their show, creating some fast-paced and seemless comedy. Particular favourites from this evening included the popular musical classic of du ron as well as a hilarious round of desperate housewives where Marcus truly stole the show, before the team were thrown into scenarios in which they transformed into zombie zookeepers among other things.

This was an absolutely stellar line up of York ‘s comedy finest providing an unbeatable  evening of comedy. Comedysoc have stepped up a gear and are pushing the boundaries of  traditional improv. comedy to create something fresh and thoroughly entertaining. For this some credit must also lie with comedysoc’s Edinburgh producer Max Adams for his part in bringing two triumphs of comedysoc excellence to Edinburgh. If Comedysoc can keep this momentum going they are going to have an incredibly successful Fringe.

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