Fringe review: Blackout Sketch Comedy

Blackout Sketch Comedy
Directed by Derrick Johnson; The Grindstone—Comedy Theatre; until Sat., Aug. 24.
Our Score
4

By Scott Meeberg

A clown funeral, competing Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer attack ads, and an incredible NWA parody about breastfeeding are only a small sample of the hilarious sketches from Blackout Sketch Comedy’s Fringe show. 

Blackout is a regular feature at The Grindstone Theatre, and the Fringe version of their show features a madcap slate of their best sketches from the 2018/2019 season. Six performers (Derrick Johnson, Mark Vetsch, Katie Hudson, Malachi Wilkins, Clayton Plamondon, and Erin Leflar) rotate through a variety of roles with ease, changing their voices and physicalities repeatedly. 

Costumes and props are relatively minimal but effective, occasionally used for some of the funniest punchlines in the show. Many of the skits were complemented by projected backdrop images, creating a setting for each sketch and adding to the comedy. A couple running gags and extended setups pay off for attentive audience members.

Sketch comedy as a whole has a tendency to be somewhat hit-or-miss, and a couple of the sketches do fall a bit flat. But when Blackout Sketch Comedy hits, they knock it out of the park. If your sense of humour tends towards the absurd and dark, you won’t want to miss this show. 

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