Inane is indeed the right word. From a Deep South drifter with an unorthodox method of playing the mouth organ to a (possibly South African) stuntman with an invisible bike and a penchant for tension, Adam Riches’ comedy creations are every bit as wacky and farcical as the elaborate set pieces he dreams up for them. Bringing bemused audience members along for the ride only serves to elevate the ridiculousness of the various skits, resulting in the one of the silliest but strongest hours of comedy you’re likely to see at this year’s Fringe.
Why’s that? Well, the sketches on their own are amusing enough, but without Riches’ relentless energy and savage wit steering the ship, they’d be nothing more than a load of old bollocks. Admittedly, they’re still a load of bollocks, but they’re damn funny bollocks in his capable hands. That’s down to an incredibly clever and astonishingly quick turn of phrase, a fearless stage presence and a no-holds barred approach to chewing up and spitting out any audience member with the gumption to laugh at an inopportune moment, enter the auditorium late or, more commonly, just sit in the front row.
Those who prefer their fourth walls to remain impassable will do well to find a sequestered spot in the shadows, for Riches is not one to respect personal space or take any prisoners. Fortunately, however, his bark is worse than his bite and the hapless “volunteers” who are unlucky enough to be dragged onstage are laughing along through their ordeal almost as much as their relieved cohorts in the crowd. Don’t expect it to make sense, but do expect inanity, chicanery and plenty of hilarity.