Simply The Jest
Reviewed by: Daniel Regan
Packed into what is essentially a small cave and staring at a stage no wider than a king size bed I wasn’t immediately filled with reassurance as the cast assembled and the performance began. Five minutes later it was apparent that my reservations were unfounded.
The cast of Simply the Jest bring a refreshing theatricality to the sketch show format, where the material is both funny and credibly acted. They don’t resort to easy, typical student observational material such as the difficulties of picking up girls or the joys of drinking etc. Instead they offer a well developed, enthusing critique on everything from the mundane to celebrity.
The troupe retains the ability of self-parody as well. They are notably middle class and that’s the culture they satirise so well. Most sketches are peppered with more than a few notes of Sloane Ranger or RP and they work the best. The Sloane as a mainstream comedic device seems to be resurging, but they haven’t jumped on the bandwagon of cramming it in without reason. The premise and subject matter is intelligent and perfectly demonstrates their subtle humour.
However this is where criticisms can be extracted. Simply the Jest isn’t a laugh out loud, obviously hilarious show. You are not spoon fed punch lines. Occasionally this means a few jokes end on a lull, but if you’re looking for a not -so-conventional, exceptionally witty sketch show you won’t find many better than this.