REVIEW: BEACH HUNKS: VERY HANDSOME (Laughing Horse) ★★★★
Imagine my surprise this Edinburgh Fringe when I somehow managed to visit Scotland in the only week that had some sunshine… And what better show to get me into the summer mood than the Beach Hunks, with their new show ‘Very Handsome’ – performed as part of Free Fringe in Laughing Horse @ The News Room (Venue 93) at 12:30am – and it’s a show worth staying up for! A comedy sketch show following Michael Dodds, Jack Nicholls and Dave Duncan as they embark upon fulfilling their dreams of becoming sketch comedians, among other wants and wishes.
The lads are very entertaining and work well as a comedy threesome, each having their own persona and celebrating their unique and ‘hunky’ comedy style. The show is low tech and knows it, which is an extension of their underdog style of comedy. I particularly enjoyed the banter between the performers and their technician Jasmin in the box. Refreshingly, they make no secret of the fact that this is an off-the-wall performance, and any errors are bravely acknowledged and laughed at wholeheartedly between both themselves and the audience. The sketches are bold and unusual, reflecting the sometimes wonderful, often warped, minds of the artists. They created an interesting and varied collection of characters (Nicholls demonstrates an impressive collection of well-executed accents to boot!), places and obscure creatures, complete with their own theme tunes. My favourite moment was Dodds’ performance with his guitar, an element of the show I would love to see more of as there is such a wealth of comedy to be discovered within the live music elements; and he is clearly an accomplished comedy musician.
The audience enjoyed the show, encouraged by the ironic and awkward audience interaction led by Duncan, who did a fine job of getting to know everybody’s names in the house. The Beach Hunks as a comedy brand is a brilliant concept, however I would have loved to have seen this “beach-branding” appear more consistently within the show itself, as their promotional material suggests a more seaside-inspired show; complete with Hawaiian shirts, flip-flops, and beach balls. Attire aside, if you are a fan of random, crude, and awkward humour then this is a show which encapsulates these in a quaint, “it’s-cool-not-to-be-cool” kind of way. The Beach Hunks are definitely one to watch out for next year and, after further development to their sketches, I will certainly look forward to their 2017 bikini season!
Reviewed by Lisa MacGregor
Beach Hunks played at The Laughing Horse until 18 August 2016