This scruffy, scrawny gaggle of youngish lads from Sheffield’s premier comedy troupe The Antics are bent on making sure that Edinburgh Fringe’s improv scene stays perfectly silly.
Equipped with nothing but a suitcase of hilarious accents, agile imaginations and accomplished clumsiness, The Antics present a solid forty five minutes of standard (and some not so standard) improv games with a healthy dose of input from the audience.
The show was packed with many a highlight. The latest edition to the Royal family - imagined a malevolent and power hungry baby - got more than titters. A forgetful Nelson Mandela searching for his toothbrush displayed their adroit capacity for impersonations. The latest album release from Henry VIII got belly laugh, and the quickest repair of a leaky dam known to history more than demonstrated the gang’s aptitude for physical theatre.
There’s a strong sense of homage being paid to the greats in the hallowed tradition of improvised comedy throughout the performance. Many a caricature echoed pleasingly of the raucous and absurd Monty Python. The gang leant heavily on the punchy and witty delivery made famous in Whose Line is it Anyway and Mock the Week. There’s nothing wrong with imitation - if done well - and this group do justice to their genre.
It started out with a few coughs and splutters but the performers eased into it and grew more comfortable as the show went on. The show became all the more enjoyable when the troupe was clearly enjoying themselves as well. The friendly rapport they established with us onlookers meant that when they dug for suggestions for games the replies came thick and fast.
A Pile of Wit will make a perfectly worthy addition to your comedy consumption this Edinburgh Fringe.