You don’t have to be a geek to be amused by the antics of the Legion of Doom – but a working knowledge of Game of Thrones, the WWE and Sonic the Hedgehog helps. The Mersey-based sketch trio are on their way to the Edinburgh Festival, but have just finished preview performances of their latest show Sketchpocolypse Now, a kind of ‘best of’ of their material as amassed over the last few years schlepping up to the Fringe and hosting their own Comedy Knights at Mello Mello.
This experience showed, as the group were seemingly at ease among the intimate audience of 81 Renshaw, and the writing had been honed for maximum laughs. There was little by way of filler in this consistently funny hour (and a bit), that was well-paced and experimented with a variety of styles. A mix of longer, one-off Footlights revue-type sketches – including Nazi drinking games and issue-based school theatre – were twinned with bold, recurring Little Britain-esque characters and catchphrases, the odd bit of Boosh-y whimsy, and big dollops of grotesque.
Highlights included the game of cricket as umpired by Stone Cold Steve Austin; the payback of a beautifully ridiculous set up by a dozy judge called Thadeus Bent, sitting in the Court of Human Rights and repeatedly mistaking the purpose of his role (“your cheesecake was dry and unimaginative!”); and the admirably near-the-knuckle Scouse-proud poet Terry Arlarse.
The show ended with Sketchpocolypse Now, a finale that is supposedly the culmination of the twisted, out of control ideas of LoD’s Lee Hithersay. It can be seen online in a messier and even weirder version than performed at 81 Renshaw on this occasion, but there was some rather intricate art on the walls at the time, and toothpaste, electric drills and flying baguettes can make a bit of a mess. Who knows what the Fringe audience will get, but seek them out and you can be confident it will be incredibly funny.