Northern Power Blouse – Touching Cloth ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
REVIEW & OPINION BY TONY FRAME. VENUE 96. PBH’S FREE FRINGE @ OPIUM – UPSTAIRS.
What feels like a step back into time when British comedy was at its best, with shows like French & Saunders, Hale & Pace, The League of Gentlemen and Naked Video (for us Scots), Northern Power Blouse delivers a hilariously belly-laughing 50 minutes of non-stop sketch comedy in a similar vein.
Whilst a series of sketches is a formulaic approach for comedians, I have seen many a comedy show at the Fringe crash and burn because one sketch goes on for too long, or has a punchline that is telegraphed way too early and obvious, that when it comes you’re so bored to laugh that you have to fake a chuckle to keep the performers happy. Well, these Northerner’s sketches have none of that! Each one is just as funny as the last. Some are outright bizarre but equally just as hilarious.
There’s a right mix of characters and scenarios throughout: ranging from that familiar stingy Northerner that we all know and love who refuses to pay for anything, to smear tests with a whispering twist, not to mention the appearance of a major and minor celebrity, one of whom dedicates his famous farewell love song to one of the props this time around. That and many more makes it a must-see at this years Fringe. It’s full of Northern goodness, like a steaming dish of Bisto as it’s poured over some Yorkshire puddings.
The credit goes to the writers and performers themselves: Cassie Atkinson, Kat Butterfield and Jack Robertson. All established comedians in their own right they gel well as the Power Blouse trio. Their act is well timed, witty and intuitively written and full of energy, so much so that the 60+ audience members were all in stitches throughout the entirety of the show.