Queue features beautifully absurd physical comedyEggbox Comedy

Queue, a freshers’ sketch show, showcases some of the best upcoming comic talent in Cambridge with a selection of sketches framed by the ubiquitous British activity of waiting in line. While the quality of sketches was decidedly mixed, it was overall an entertaining evening full of energy and some real peaks of hilarity.

The group, featuring Jamie Bisping, Lottie Elton, Harriet Fisher, Izzy Lewis and Will Owen, had clearly worked on their chemistry as a troupe, and many of the most achieved moments of the show were the full-group sketches. Together the cast were able to create moments of physical comedy which were genuinely surprising in their heights of absurdity and endearing silliness. Throughout the show, Bisping and Fisher stood out for their sheer commitment to their parts and for their impressively nuanced comic timing and characterisation, such as when they played a theatre-obsessed couple trying to find a university room together. Each member of the cast was given their moment to shine, and there was an enjoyable variety of sketch styles, from monologue to audience interaction. The enthusiasm that each of the performers brought to the show was a joy to see and was part of what made Queue stand out among productions by more seasoned comics.

The enthusiasm that each of the performers brought to the show was a joy to see

The writing was best when it was at its most surreal, and the funniest sketches were often enhanced by excellent use of music and props. However, several sketches could have benefitted from cutting punchlines which didn’t always land, as the set-up and content of many of the skits were much funnier than their last lines. Queues as a framing device were used to a pleasing effect: one of the best moments of the entire show was provided by Fisher waiting in a phone queue for customer services. Voice-overs garnered some of the biggest laughs throughout Queue, and it was a shame that tech wasn’t made more use of in this respect.

The main issue with the show was a tendency to derivative humour. Two of the sketches made liberal use of the character-types provided by Ruby Keane and Ania Magliano-Wright in their Team Building Conference; I think it’s safe to say that by this point Cambridge has had its fill of bumbling inspirational speaker spoofs. Some gags also recalled Speechless, although it’s fair to say that in both cases these were probably unconscious influences. In a similar vein, a strand of sketches featuring ‘posh’ characters failed to make any truly incisive observations, which was something of a disappointment in the Cambridge climate of unacknowledged privilege. Nevertheless, certain lines showed an aptness for satire which will hopefully be further developed by the writers in future endeavours.


Mountain View

Mitchell and Webb meet in Cambridge

Queue offered a fantastically energetic selection of sketches, and the evening as a whole had an earnest and carefree atmosphere. This is a group of dynamic and enthusiastic comics, and the show is an engaging hour of (mostly) wholesome laughs which will appeal to a wide range of audiences.

Queue is on at the Corpus Playroom until 10 May

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