REVIEW: Toucan

Adam Woolf is in a flap over this hilarious sketch show.

Comedy Corpus Playroom Footlights sketch show toucan

As soon as  I saw the great and varied set for toucan, and some unexpected objects lining the seats, and I couldn’t help but fall into their mad, hilarious world.

The opening lived up to my expectations. It was quite possibly the best five minutes of theatre I’ve seen in Cambridge. Every bit as harrowing and surreal as it was hilarious; I don’t want to give anything away as part of its genius lies in the element of surprise. Frankly, the show is worth seeing just for this one scene, the image of which will stick with me for a while.

A lot of the rest of the sketches were brilliant in their own right. The kitchen sketch was brilliantly silly and perfectly executed; it had the whole audience in stitches. The film festival sketch and the mind-reading microphone sketch must also be praised for sheer creativity and originality, in addition to having bucket loads of big laughs.

Toucan to human ratio not guaranteed to be correct.

However, a few of the sketches didn’t quite live up to the high standard of the rest of the show. The librarian sketch was good fun but dragged on a little too long. Some sketches lacked a strong punch line, seeming to just stop mid-flow and a few of the jokes were a bit hit and miss, particularly in the very first hotel sketch.

Unfortunately, there were some serious technical issues, to do with playing a video. This could have been dealt with better, had the performers stayed in character. It was funny at first, but it did go on for a very long time (about 10 minutes) and perhaps they should have just moved on. Hopefully, this is something that will be sorted out by tomorrow.

Look, we’re funny because we wear banana suits and eat funny food.

The cast was generally very strong. Jordan Mitchell gave a masterful performance as both a monkey and an audience member. He is a consummate performer, with almost every word making people laugh. Theo Wethered delivered some great one-liners, but at times could have gone for stronger characterisation. Guy Mitchell was very funny throughout, and superb as the chef, but did break character a few too many times. Sam Grabiner was a very strong performer, with some excellent moments of improvisation too.

But don’t be intimidated! We’re affable too – you can tell by our mugs and tight-knit sitting positions.

There were some brilliant extra touches to toucan, such as spoof radio adverts playing between scenes, and well-made videos (once they managed to get them working). Clearly a lot of creativity and a lot of talent went into creating this show and the whole rainforest world of toucan.

I enjoyed this show massively and parts of it were truly genius and truly hilarious.

Whilst it was somewhat inconsistent, I still left with a huge smile on my face, as did the rest of the audience.

4/5 Stars