• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Fringe 2023: The Cambridge Footlights International Tour Show

ByTom Harrington

Oct 24, 2023
cambridge footlights tour cast

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Cambridge Footlights are back and, despite some rough sketches, demonstrate beyond a doubt why they are some of the hottest comedy talents on the circuit.

A performance with its fair share of belly laughs, the influence of the Pythons is clear, but not without fault.  The troupe demonstrated their vast range, from witty satires, and grotesque Zumba classes, to good-old-fashioned Python sing-alongs.  Each of the five members had flare and audacity, bringing something unique to the performance with each sketch, that exemplified the adaptable and likeable personas they took on.

The recurring STD-con-political-party-advertisement sketch went down fantastically, like something straight out of the Flying Circus, and showed the diverse application of their comedic wit.  Likewise, clever satire on male podcast personalities like Andrew Tate was nothing short of hilarious, masterfully blending rodent puns (after they hastily dressed as two alpha-rat podcasters) with brilliant satire.  Teasing the audience with a possible feature from “Jordan Squeakerson” next week.

However, there were a few hitches.  The show was not one of those that get funnier and funnier as the performance goes on, with many of the punchlines falling flat, or in some cases just downright confusing.  Like a sudden lane change on a motorway, It was as though every third sketch attempted to target a form of comedy that didn’t match the rest of the performance.

In one sketch, a man attempts to set up a Monzo account online, going through a verification process that “can be quite demeaning”.  Little did we know that “demeaning” was a clever foreshadowing of the audience’s experience, as we sat through a painful crescendo of facetious wails to the tune of “I’m begging you, I need a Monzo account!” that ultimately ended with him getting the Monzo account.  There was no punchline.

The footlights without a doubt have raw talent, that makes itself known throughout the performance, but being consistently funny seems to be where they get stuck.  Although they showcase a brilliant range of comedic expertise, there is a sense that they are trying too much, instead of guiding the audience on a comedic journey they instead baffled them.  With some fine-tuning, I have no doubt that some of our new favourite comedians will come out of this troupe – just not yet.

The Cambridge Footlights International Tour Show is on at Pleasance Dome – King Dome at 6:30pm from 25 till 28 August. Tickets are available here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/cambridge-footlights-international-tour-show.

Image courtesy of Nicola Irvine, provided to The Student as press material.