Pappy's: Last Show Ever, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh
After some muted outings, the sketch group Pappy's are back to their lovable best, on the kind of form that saw them shortlisted for Edinburgh's comedy award in 2007 and will probably get them a place on this year's list, too.
We join Ben Clark, Matthew Crosby and Tom Parry on their 'Everlasting Tour', initially through the eyes of an elderly Ben (the ursine one), as he reminisces. He is then joined by aged incarnations of the other two (Tom, the cheeky, crude one and Matt, the cute one) to figure out why it all ultimately went wrong.
Fame, love and money were the keys to the trio's demise, it turns out, and they become part of the overall sketch parade. Ben, for example, marries a girl in the front row and their life is acted out in montage to Billy Joel's 'She's Always A Woman', complete with baby and mimed infidelity. It's quick, clever and actually rather moving - a taster of the emotional ride to come.
Meanwhile we discover how Scarecrow was a socially unacceptable friend to Lion and Tin Man and meet the worst censor in the world; simple, but imaginative premises disarmingly delivered. Some sketches may be standard fare, but the narrative framework more than compensates. The package is total, tickling the funny bone and tugging on the heartstrings.
Until 27 August, 0131 556 6550
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