Dressing Down

Breakneck-paced sketch show is studenty, smart and artfully ramshackle

If you’re choosing one show to represent the breakneck-paced sketch genre in your viewing schedule this festival, make it this one. Studenty (OK, they just look too young to be this funny and clever), smart and artfully ramshackle, it’s everything a Fringe comedy show should be and everything you’d expect from three young gentlemen with a Cambridge Footlights pedigree.

The premise of Dressing Down is that a malfunctioning magic wardrobe keeps spitting Harry, Alex and Ben out in different, often equally malfunctioning costumes. It’s inventive, intelligent and breathlessly fast. They’ve set themselves an almost impossible challenge with however many costume changes (the poster claims 60) to pack into the hour, but the problems in achieving it are just made part of the fun by these evidently seasoned performers.

As they whizz through the Bible, pirates, ballerinas, snails, lollipop ladies, Roger Federer, superheroes and more, the main mood is one of infectious silliness, but there’s a clever structure and an erudite wit behind the slapstick. More excellent use of a well-stocked dressing-up box has rarely been made.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 26 Aug, 3pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).

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