“A slightly damp cave”, as it is described by one of the members of York University comedy group The Dead Ducks, is completely taken over by five comical geniuses in an hour of punchy sketches. From the warm welcome the audience receives upon sitting down to the very final moments of a rousing musical number, they create a fantastic atmosphere to be in and immerse those watching in witty and effectual comedy.
Sometimes in as little as twenty or so seconds, the Dead Ducks perform countless sketches with an impressive range of accents, characters, and subject matter. From family wedding photos to a camp for growing facial hair, even to a tongue in cheek skit about a Russian perfume selling couple in the lovely British city of Salisbury, there is no predicting what may come next.
All five actors are great talents and they never break character or miss a beat. The transitions are smooth, benefitted by the entertaining music and lighting which helps to create a different atmosphere in each sketch, perfectly tailored to the context. The sheer volume of sketches is impressive, showcasing the group’s vast imagination and ability to perfect a great deal of content. One particular audience favourite is a running gag about James Bond as a secret-agent-converted-salesman, not-so-subtly plugging the latest Sony laptop and Heineken during confrontations with his enemies. Each time this sketch returns in a new way the audience is delighted, and the result is a room that ends up giggling for practically the whole hour.
These students prove with this show that good writing, timing, and a whirlwind pace is the perfect combination for a highly successful display of comedy, and they truly win the whole room over and have a great time while doing it.
The Dead Ducks: York du Soleil is on at Just the Tonic at The Caves – Just Up The Road (Venue 88)
At 13:20 until 25th August (excluding 19th)
Get tickets here
Image: Oli Thomas