Fringe comedy review: Just These Please, Gilded Balloon Teviot

There’s nothing avant-garde about this sketch comedy quartet but they still deliver solid laughs with engaging gusto, writes Jay Richardson

Just These Please PIC: Richard William Preisner
Just These Please PIC: Richard William Preisner

Exemplified by their closing number, a typically polished tune in which they fulsomely apologise for their excessive politeness, Just These Please are a quintessentially Fringe-y sketch quartet who really lean into and send up their middle-class revue vibe. The setups for their entertaining vignettes include Ofsted inspections, bags for life, banana bread baking, critiquing their venue in song and playfully acknowledging the Covid restrictions imposed upon their audience. Sketches are concluded with them dutifully nodding to one another.

But while there's nothing avant-garde or outré about them, with even a skit about suburban orgies a genteel comedy of manners, Georgie Jones, William Sebag-Montefiore, Philippa Carson and Tom Dickson maintain admirable standards. Even their most modest material is sold with engaging gusto and a well-spread balance of spotlight across the four. No spoof or contrived scenario outstays its welcome, and, as befits a group who've enjoyed considerable online success, everything's tight and slickly executed.

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They flirt with darker themes, notably toxic masculinity. But the standout moments are simpler, inventive and memorably daft – a proud mayor belatedly realising his city's standing has been usurped by a brasher US metropolis; the apparent mistake of showering with tingling tea tree oil and a recurring physical gag about the conformity of watching Friends. There are plenty of witty lines in their recreation of the morning after The Last Supper, though as with their Siege of Troy farce, these recede somewhat for want of a strong closing punchline. Nevertheless, Just These Please deliver solid laughs throughout.

Until 21 August

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