Comedy Review: Fast Fringe with Justin Moorhouse – The Dancehouse, Manchester

Justin Moorhouse Fast Fringe

FAST FRINGE is a ridiculously fast-paced show that is as funny as it is frantic

If FAST FRINGE is anything to go by, the 2016 Greater Manchester Fringe Festival looks set to be a cracker! The two-hour comedy show opened the month-long festival at Manchester’s The Dancehouse last night, cramming more comedy and variety acts than into one bill than you thought possible.

Hosted by GM Fringe patron Justin Moorhouse, FAST FRINGE is a ridiculously fast-paced showcase of comedy and variety acts. The mammoth show sees over 20 comedians take to the stage to perform a short snippet from their shows heading to the Greater Manchester or Edinburgh Fringes.

The premise is simple yet incredibly entertaining. Each act has just three minutes to perform their ridiculously short set and convince the audience to purchase a ticket for their show, resulting in a furiously fast-paced show that is as funny as it is frantic.

With Moorhouse at the helm and leading comedy website Chortle as the organiser, the talent on display is top class. Unlike other comedy shows which tend to focus on traditional stand-up, FAST FRINGE showcases a diverse range of comedy styles and skills from full-on musical numbers to satire sketches.

Jo Coffey steals the show with her bonkers but brilliant performance as a Croatian Amy Winehouse Dog Tribute act attempting to make it on BRITAIN’S GOT TALET. Gemma Layton’s performance of an older woman desperate to get her man back and Climbing Uphill’s musical number about going back to college also stand out as highlights. Harriet Dyer’s hilarious performance of Black Box’s 90s hit Ride on Time is also worth a mention, getting plenty of laughs from the audience.

As expected from a variety show, a couple of the acts fall flat. A bizarre sketch by Daniel Nicholas in which he runs around the stage while three audience members attempt to take off his jumper is likely to leave you a little bemused. An odd guitar/banjo sketch by James and Seaburn also fails to deliver, with long gaps of silence on stage where presumably, there should have been laughter.

That said, the show is a hugely entertaining way to sample the best of what’s coming up at the festival and an entertaining reminder of just how mad and varied the GM Fringe is.

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 24 June

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