As you all know, I love Casual Violence. Since I was introduced to them at this very festival last year I have tried to attend every one of their shows in London, and Hamilton’s side projectNot Now Bernard. I have become very accustomed and familiar with their writing and acting style.
It was with cautious optimism that, when I went to see their works in progress show earlier in the year, I noticed a departure from the typical sketch show to one of a more linear, themed show, playing out much like a piece of theatre. Obviously it was a work in progress, and there were many kinks to sort out.
Having seen them now in Edinburgh, it is obvious that much minor refining- and in some cases, complete re-writes- have taken place. Complete sections now work a lot better, clunk a lot less, and come together to create an hour long show that is much more coherent and a lot more funny.
However, there were times where I felt things still didn’t work. The venue was definitely not right for them. The style of performance, where facial features and stage positioning are a big part of the overall experience, favour those who are head on. The U shaped seating left at least half the audience missing out those finer details, and also made reading the projector screen difficult. Some of the sketches felt clunky, and were occasionally unclear.
This should not deter you, though. These minor discrepancies hardly detracted from the attractive package that is Casual Violence. Old and new fans will love what has been produced, I jut personally would like to have seen more of their traditional sketch material.
See if you like taxidermy, voodoo, goblins and laughter.