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15th August 2023

Review: Manchester Revue’s Lonely Hearts Sketch Club (Edinburgh Fringe Festival)

Manchester Revue’s Lonely Hearts Sketch Club is a hilarious and spirited sketch comedy show performed by an exceptionally talented cast that will leave you in fits of laughter
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Review: Manchester Revue’s Lonely Hearts Sketch Club (Edinburgh Fringe Festival)
Photo: Manchester Revue

The Manchester Revue’s Lonely Heart’s Sketch Club is a seamless and hilarious tribute to the iconic discography of The Beatles. Nevertheless, this show should not be mistaken as a tribute act. Instead, the revue has used track titles to build a series of hilarious and original sketches.

You can never guess where you might be led with ‘She’s Leaving Home’ transforming into a well-choreographed and breathy declaration of the sexual undertones present in the craving for jarred pesto, whilst the psychedelic bars of ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ become swapped out for the nasally voice of an invasive and meddling American airplane passenger (Sophie Thomas). The show never lets up, and the tight direction (Meg Bowron) and relentless pacing of the well-rehearsed sketches left the audience in stitches.

Moreover, the humour of many of the sketches are not without purpose and instead showcase a sharp eye for social commentary delivered to the audience with laughter. This is particularly evident in sketches that satirise gender politics such as ‘WoMEN Awards’ and particularly ‘Spritz and a Spray’ that dramatizes the divergence in marketing of men’s and women’s perfumes (Lucas Everett and Chloe Mae Symonds) to such an extreme that you will not be able walk through Duty Free with the same outlook again.

Ultimately, it is the cast of the Revue that allows it to truly shine, as they confidently dive head-first into numerous scenes and diverse characters that places their incredible chemistry on display. One particular standout scene is ‘Lovely Rita…has got a Second home in Portofino’, where the exaggerated RP accents and facial expressions (Elise Lane, Sophie Thomas and Chloe Mae Symonds) turn the funny sketch into a true home-run.

The cast members also work together to allow their individual talents to shine; such as Fraser Dawtree in ‘A Day in the Life’ with a sonorous rounded voice as a pantomime dame (that certainly leaves that career option open for him), Chloe Mae Symonds as a clueless Welsh Barman leading a Sexual Harassment meeting, and Harry Clayton who breaks up the show with an almost excruciatingly awkward and deadpan ‘Mr Kite’, bantering with audience members in a way that shouldn’t work but just doe.

The Manchester Revue have succeeded in putting on a fun and exciting comedy show at Edinburgh Fringe that anyone who’s there should endeavour to watch!

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