Brighton’s ‘rude and raucous’ female comedy troupe have been performing together for 3 years and have finally brought their utterly brilliant sketch comedy to Edinburgh. The 5 performers who make up the ‘Fannys’ are each different enough to bring their individual talents, comedy styles and qualities to the show, gelling perfectly as a group during the genius musical numbers which they perform together.
The songs are all absolute highlights. The group adapt famous tunes and deliver them in their own signature style, with lyrics that tell a very different story to the originals. Stand outs are a version of ‘Bohemian Rapsody’ about motherhood, with crying babies and lines that say what every new mother must have thought at some time, including: ‘sometimes I wish you’d never been born at all’. ‘Alone’ (about female masturbation) is just brilliant, and a version of ‘Cell Block Tango’ from Chicago the musical had us all in hysterics – If a man constantly calls us ‘Babe, Love, Oi Oi, Darlin, Sweetheart’, and makes comments like ‘while you’re down there’, then really he had revenge coming, including a stiletto up his backside.
“Sketch comedy at its absolute, hilarious best”
Alternating with the songs are a series of clever sketches, making perfect points about what it is like to be a woman, and often saying the things we aren’t always brave enough to say. Stand out moments include a conversation between a mother and a daughter about sex – it’s fine for the older woman to talk graphically about how her sex life is still very raunchy indeed, but being matched by her 25 year old ‘baby’ is just too much. An exercise competition has the audience howling with laughter, and ‘Pepper Pig on repeat’ (the sketch detailing all the reasons why a woman might not want to have children) is delivered with quick fire precision and perfect comedy timing. Lesbian Mastermind provided a great set up to make a comment on how men often view and speak to lesbian couples, assuming that what they do and what they like is in order to please men, and really not taking any time to try to understand the reality of female same sex relationships. ‘Inappropriate Izzy’ appears a number of times. She is that friend who says just what’s on her mind with absolutely no censor and I loved her. If this woman is going to bring down the tone of her friend’s conversation, it might as well be by letting them know that she’s just lost her tampon down the toilet.
Great comedy shows use call backs throughout, and The Fannytasicals has some of the very best. In particular, Sarah Charsley letting us know half way through the show that she’s always had an irrational fear of eating bananas in public, before coming on at the end to face that fear, and absolutely delighting the captivated audience by eating said banana in exactly the way she ‘feared’ men may imagine. It’s so funny, and a fantastic way to bring the show to a close before the group come back on together for one more song: The Pelvic Floor number.
The Fannytasticals is sketch comedy at its absolute, hilarious best. It’s also clever, brilliantly feminist and unashamedly honest about what it’s really like being a woman.
Image: Sweet Productions / The Fannytasticals