By Colin Flaherty
After a triumphant debut at last years’ festival, Dr Duck (Andrew Keen, Seon Williams, Ross Purdy, Olivia Solomons, Jon Walpole and Eidann Glover) are back with another hour of sketch madness. Sinister fishermen, an inept James Bond, bureaucratic Neanderthals and an educational piece of fruit are some of the crazy characters we meet in this amusing smorgasbord of scenes.
As with most sketch comedy the quality varies with each scenario but there are enough great ideas to keep you amused over the hour. Some are single joke premises that form a series of recurring jokes with a tepid punchline. One sketch is blatantly signposted as filler but despite being full of clever meta references it does exactly what it says on the tin. Other scenes go on a bit long and the punchlines aren’t quite as punchy as they could be. The upshot is that the journey usually contains plenty of hilarious lines, eye-rolling puns and wacky concepts to keep interest up and laughs rolling.
This is broad comedy and the cast sell the material hard; projecting to the back row and exaggerating all gestures and vocal inflections. It’s always great seeing performers exude their enthusiasm to the audience to make sure everyone has a great time. Purdy is less theatrical in his performance than the others but the oddball roles he is given are appropriate for his delivery style and have plenty of wacky dialogue to carry them.
The cast build their worlds using minimal props and lots of mime which works a treat. Transitions between scenes are pleasingly brisk and the choice of music accompanying the blackouts are cheekily related to the preceding sketch for an added giggle.
General Quacktitioner is a solid offering from this young sketch troop. I’m sure they’ll have enough interested in this fun hour to come back next year with another Anatidae/Medical pun title.
General Quacktitioner is on at The Tickle Pit until April 9