Tucked away in the conference space of an inner city hotel, I was greeted by a helpful and well presented front of house member and waited excitedly (with a large group mainly comprised of uni students) to be ushered into the theatre. I had no idea what to expect – especially with such a spicy title for a sketch comedy show – and was excited for the adventure in front of us to commence.
Making a grand entrance are the stars of the show that comprise the acronym JOE: Jon Walpole, Oli Robertson, and Ed Rickards. Appearing in most sketch comedy scenes as a sort of ‘three stooges’ – with Jon being the ‘slow / dopey one’, Oli being the ‘shouty one’ and Ed representing a character the others do not like – if you’re going to see this show, best strap yourselves in for an evening of fast paced, sharp comedy sketches. The lads did seem way too cheery about taking the audience on their trip to the fiery depths of heck but judging by the regular roars of applause and cheers, the audience were clearly far too entertained to be concerned by the show title.
There were many aspects I loved about this show however the wide vocal ranges, scenarios / topics explored and characterisations by Jon, Oli and Ed were simply a marvel to behold. No scenario or topic was too much for any of them and there are a couple of characters within the show that I took a real liking to – see the show and you’ll know who I’m referring to I’m sure! This is not your typical sketch comedy show – expect surprise guests, dance breaks, some very interactive moments and some choice one liners to keep you entertained and enthralled throughout. I’m hesitant to name my favourite sketches here as I don’t want to spoil too much (also there are far too many to mention!) but I will mention that the ‘message from the sponsors’ section as well as the journey into children’s television and the loose interpretation of current affairs hosts made me laugh the most all night! Jon, Oli and Ed were nimble and attentive to the audience’s needs – some scenes seemed to be extended as the audience were having too much fun and this lead to some delightful seemingly unscripted moments in the show. During the show, there were times where I saw audience members doubled over / overcome with laughs and scenes where I was almost crying with laughter – we all shared in such a madcap adventure into heck!
The lads worked hard for their audience, and in return we all lapped up their sketches and enjoyed every moment. If you’re going to end up in heck – why not make it an delightfully enjoyable and funny adventure along the way?!
VERDICT: This is a show where the title delivers a hilariously madcap adventure for the audience. Bombastic, fantastic and with plenty of slapstick, ‘Bombastic JOE Descend Into The Fiery Depths Of Heck’ is a fun night of sketch comedy that surprises and entertains. Don’t miss it! For those after a ‘star rating’, I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars.
*Disclaimer: I attended this production as a guest of the performance team
**extra note: this show is marked as suitable for audiences 16+ which is fair as the show does contain regular references to adult themes and sex toys etc.