Review by Norah Pendergast
Outrageously satirical and energetically thrilling, from commencement to completion the cast of Sketch 22 forcefully throws humorous and shocking antics at its audience. With season two of Sketch 22 well under way, the comedians can rest assured that expectations based on last year’s success are not disappointed. The show is as memorable and hilarious as any show, any time, anywhere.
The writers prove the depth of their creativity by bravely delivering all new material, and no repeat characters. Newscaster Stone Phillips, lesbian Debbie Gaudet, and Hatrick from Tignish, personify familiar clichés. This technique allows the cast to replace the dialogue necessary for character development with jibes, punch lines, and observations, leaving spectators spent and sore from the physical exertion of laughing.
Comedians Rob MacDonald, Graham Putnam, Josh Weale, Andrew Sprague, and Dennis Trainor, collaborated on writing the dynamic script. According to Rob MacDonald, who wrote most of this year’s presentation, “Seeing Sketch 22 is like going on a bus tour of the Island. Except that instead of going the scenic route, it’s like taking the red dirt road less traveled.” Sketch 22 provides a rebellious antithesis to the rustic rural Island which is presented for the lucrative consumption of tourists.
Nay-sayers may complain that Sketch-22 perpetuates negative stereotypes, and contains too much swearing. Audience: abandon your delusive desire for the politically correct and embrace the instinctual phenomenon which is the sense of humor! The production shamelessly mocks those nauseating individuals who dare to dictate truth and evil. With its off-color humor Sketch 22 succeeds in leaping beyond the boundaries of social acceptability while maintaining moral integrity, therein lies its true brilliance.
Producer Jason Rogerson explains, “While I can’t promise that you’ll like it... I can guarantee this. You will be thrilled, sometimes you will be shocked, but most of all, you will be enormously entertained.” It’s true, Rob MacDonald, Graham Putnam, and Josh Weale stand out as fiercely talented comedians who are able to don absurd personas for the delight of spectators.
Excellent costumes and exquisite physical comedy add a visual dimension to the hilarity of Sketch 22. The videos shown at moments of set changes orchestrated by stage manager, Ghislaine O’Hanley, hold even the shortest attention spans to the comedian’s foolishness. For more information, and a good laugh, check out the Sketch 22 website at www.sketch22.ca.
Art is the consciousness of a society, and Sketch 22 is a by product of life on P.E.I. The entire cast and crew are natives of Prince Edward Island. Their ability to poke fun at their home demonstrates their proud acceptance of it. Despite (or perhaps because of) gratuitous obscenities in the name of satire, Sketch 22 is a quality production of local talent that will appeal to open and inquisitive minds.