Live Review: Brighton Fringe – Late Night Gimp Fight, The Warren: The Hat

What have Late Night Gimp Fight been up to since their last live show four years ago? Well, it would seem the answer is considering life, death, Kim Kardashian and most recently falling foul of pneumonia in the case of Gimp 5 Matt, leaving this comedy sketch quintet a last minute foursome for their return. Tricky, but surprisingly no major obstacle with a quick setlist shuffle and some bankable older material filling in the gaps. Has fatherhood and getting older made them softer? Not in the least, it’s simply fuelled them to find those tantalisingly attractive ‘wrong’ punchlines in brand new places.

Repeatedly returning throughout the hour’s show is a parenthood perspective, an awareness of mortality, matching the infantile with the articulate in a gleefully wicked way. It’s set from the moment the Gimps step onto stage for their opening number, a baby doll in arms (its first of several appearances). They’re feeling older, not as fit – they sing out in clear close harmonies –  only to execute a nimble synchronised dance. Unleashed, there’s a tangible delight in going to the dark place of the parents of a kidnapped child’s appeal, skipping mercilessly to the blackest gags and pouncing on them with gay abandon. 

Of course the lads have not been idle during their live performance hiatus, building up a strong following with their YouTube channel, the most recent success of which makes an appearance with an acapella rendition of their ‘Trump You’ twist on CeeLo Green’s ‘Forget You’. Turning the knife on Trump with the classy barber shop quartet, the viral video to their song is on the big screen behind them. They are the dark boy(ish) band of sketch comedy and their mix of short and long sketches, songs, dance and video kept the pace snappy, the tone engagingly conspiratorial.

Where there is life there is also death, threaded through the sketches. Macabre humour nods its head at the Pearly Gates, on a date, and in a running medical sketch that finds laughs in the ridiculously pedestrian frailty of human life.

Late Night Gimp Fight’s members may be older but they have lost none of their zest and energy. Working closely all these years has paid off, they spark off each other with that trust of high-flying comedy acrobats, it’s contagious – the whole room on its feet at one point dad dancing with massive grins and singing along. And when the finale comes around and brings a filthy song with gratuitous nudity, well it’s like they were never gone.

Until  6 May.

www.otherplacebrighton.co.uk

brightonfringe.org

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