Comedy review: Moon: We Cannot Get Out, (Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), Edinburgh

If the Pleasance Below perhaps wasn't responsible for killing off Danny Baker's career, as Moon suggest it was, it is at least having a pretty good go at cutting them off before their prime.


Sketch comedy seems to be endangered at the moment certainly, and its surviving practitioners are responding with ever more contrived and elaborate framing devices.

Quite why Jack Chisnall and Joshua Dolphin choose to have their venue attacking them is never really clear, though it's stated that they've been goaded into it by student press calling them “immersive”.

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Whatever, it plays to their capacity to surprise, with murderous microphones and other dangerous set dressing a clunky, cartoonish manifestation of their ever-present menace and threat of violence.

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You might credit Chisnall with a degree of enigma and sickly smile.

But it's the pitbull-like Dolphin who defines the duo as unsettling, his capacity to snap into a flurry of blows upon his partner or paroxysms of strangulation the take home memory of this hour. In white boiler suits the better to display metaphorical blood, Kubrickian painter and decorators, Moon wear their working-class angst on their sleeves, with Chisnall upping his Scouse levels to ingratiate with their tech, Dolphin offering a tall tale of hooking up with the Queen down his local boozer.

If there's chippiness, and there is, it's barely concealed, it's because Moon are also brutally intelligent, with their skits little masterpieces of subversion and misdirection.

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Familiar childhood staples like Thomas the Tank Engine, Peter Pan and Monopoly are all fun and games until you're forced to live the nightmarish reality.

A wedding run through spirals out of control, into a bleakly disturbing future. And Chisnall's movie-inspired epiphanies prove to be nothing of the sort. For all their apparent death wish, Moon seem pretty vital right now.

Until 25 August

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