Ed Fringe Review: Pelican

The chemistry between these dorky-cool Cambridge boys is unrivalled. Pelican is a true merit to university comedy. The four distinctly different lads bring their unique stamp to the stage, inviting roars of laughter from a full-packed room over and over again. One hunky, one cool, one a literary genius and one, for want of a better word, anal, the four boys come as a united package.

Pelican: A Sketch show has everything you could possibly want from a one-hour comedy. Fast-paced, funny and frenetic, the boys are not afraid to adlib and improvise as they react to the responses of their audience. From creating a human ‘claw’ through physical theatre to a sketch of Jesus joining the Beetles; creating a pair of smugly swearing sliding doors to running around the stage to the Beach Boys with an ironing board for a surfboard, this show thrives off ingenuity and playfulness. Even the transitions become moments of comedy, as the slick scene changes are accompanied by a unanimous ‘ooh’ as one scene ends and ‘aah’ as another begins. By retaining their own names on stage, the boys never try to force belief in characters too far. Instead, they can take a joke.

The usually friendly atmosphere found at the Fringe is experienced tenfold at Just the Tonic, where the audience was more than happy to climb onto the stage to aid a sketch or two. The boys are gracious and polite, treating volunteers with a degree of respect that makes the overall experience enjoyable for everyone.

The boys gain confidence in themselves and the trust of the audience through the course of the show, so that by the final scene, everyone willingly swarms from their seats to take part in a ritualistic shaman dance. Thoroughly silly, it is easy to get caught up in the role-play as the lights dim and the beat of feet act as a tempo to 80 chanting voices.

I cannot get enough of this show; it is a totally enjoyable experience. Only one or two scenes slip under the radar, which is remarkable considering the heaps of hilarious material that flew by. Pelican are a joy to watch and have great potential for years ahead. An absolute must-see.