Glasgow-based comedy company Witsherface boogie their way onto the stage at the Oran Mor for Wit Noo?! – their latest topical sketch show. They are introduced by MC for the evening Jay Lafferty who warms up the crowd with the usual “where are you from?”s but is charming and quick-witted enough to make it enjoyable. Disappointingly, when the main troupe enter, they never quite match the ease and humour of the compère.
The show’s short sketches focus on ideas such as millennials, British politics, Trump and celebrity. It’s all fairly topical but often quite predictable: particularly scenes like ‘Super Straight Putin’, which only seem to emulate many an internet meme we’ve already seen. Other sections crawl by with smatterings of laughter from the crowd at potentially funny ideas that are simply drawn too thin.
The company features some great talent in its actors, though. Rachel Ogilvy, Carolyn Harrop and Claire Hemphill stand out with gregarious performances in each of their roles and some well-timed punchlines. There are also moments of spark and wit in sketches like ‘Guardians of the Gallowgate’, ‘Up Your Hard Border’ and standout of the entire show – ‘Funeral Bhuna’, an Acorn-Antiques style TV advert. Overall, however, the actors seem to be hindered by the writing of scenes that are often mediocre and that occasionally just miss the mark completely.
An interval isn’t really necessary (instead, a condensed show featuring only the best sketches available here would have been more potent) and it’s a worrying sign when the audience perk up for Lafferty’s return to the stage as she delivers some lively storytelling and observational humour. Subsequently, Wit Noo?! grinds along to a slow halt at finale ‘It Wisnae Me’ – a Shaggy-parody that falls apart as lines are forgotten and the audience cling to their seats until it’s over.
Kudos to Witsherface for tackling important subjects like gender equality, sexual harassment and damaging media imagery. However, whilst this is admirable, the writing of the sketches rarely succeed in really reaching the ultimate goal – provoking genuine or sustained laughs.