The Jest

The Jest feels TV-ready and in more ways than one. This troupe’s eponymous show is steeped in a wide array of televisual influences, from adverts to PSAs to programme parody. In addition to this, the way they incorporate interstitial titles lends a freshness to the rapid fire sketch format. The biggest reason that you should expect to see this hour of sketch comedy on your screens soon however, is that the comic ability of these five performers is vast and their sketch offerings reflect this.

This hour worth watching for the Dame Maggie Smith impression alone.

After an on-point Dallas-style opening sequence to the show, the performers showcase an eclectic mix of sketches, moving swiftly between Imodium-addicted anti-drug speakers and a series of “historical misunderstandings” which force you to re-contemplate what you thought you knew about the iconic events of yore. Some of the sketches are dark, some are weird, but all are funny.

It’s invigorating to be presented with a troupe that cares more about being comical than seeming cool. These are sketches which either take oft done material but add a weird twist – such as the Weekend at Bernie’s/Psycho holiday sketch mash-up you didn’t know you needed – or are conceptually original in their own right. When the penny drops in this show, it’s nearly always something you weren’t expecting.

There’s also an admirable attention to detail in this hour. Little things like naming a frightfully middle class character ‘Una’ all add up to the impression that this has been carefully constructed for maximum audience enjoyment. They even take the very tired audience participation trope and play with it a sketch, making it interesting. This is something I thought was near impossible at this point.

Though you’ll never be able to listen to Yazoo’s Only You ever again, The Jest is well worth the late night trip. Afterwards you’ll be waiting rabidly by your TV screens to see these performers because if there’s any justice a TV show is coming. If for no other reason, this hour worth watching for the Dame Maggie Smith impression alone.

Reviews by Joe Christie

Dance Base


The Assembly Rooms


Greenside @ Nicolson Square

Untold Wars: A New Verbatim Musical


A Brief History of Evil


Project HaHa

On Top of Arthurs Seat

This Arthur's Seat Belongs to Lionel Richie


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Recommended by the List, comedy quintet The Jest present an all-new hour of dark and subversive sketches. Be it a depraved travel agent showing unwilling tourists around an Eastern Bloc country you've never heard of, or a pair of recovering Imodium addicts teaching primary school children about the dangers of drugs, the show boasts an array of colourful and grotesque characters. And Maggie Smith. ‘Smart cookies, few props, excellent writing ... tick tick tick’ **** (List). ‘Impressive ... seriously witty ... very talented’ **** (

Most Popular See More

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Les Miserables

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets