Edinburgh Fringe Review - Kids With Beards: The Curse of the Secret Ham

Every afternoon at 4:30, comedy sketch group Kids With Beards are performing their new show The Curse of the Secret Ham at Just The Tonic in The Caves. Spoiler alert! There's much less cured meat in it than the title suggests.

The show gets off to a rather slow unassuming start, with a couple of good but predictable jokes. Thankfully, once cast gets into their stride there are some genuine laugh out loud moments. One sketch parodies a pizza delivery man pornography cliche, another focuses on two pop stars from 'Recordia' who play the recorder through their nose, while a third spoofs Masterchef with a 5 second cooking competition. However, the most hilarious sketches follow two completely monotone acquaintances who meet in an optometrist of sorts. Although no one sketch is particularly groundbreaking or new, the cast sell every joke with their energy, and keep the audience on their toes with quick witted improvisations.

However, while there are some really brilliant sketches, it occasionally feels as if the jokes are not outrageous enough. There are a couple of riotous quips and sketches about incest, death, and Brexit, but the cast seem to play it safe and could afford to push for even more shocking jokes. Additionally a couple of jokes run quite long, and the audience's initial reactions wear off before the sketch is over. More conciseness and a more frantic pace may help the pacing, which feels slightly lagging at times.

Overall The Curse of the Secret Ham is great fun, and feels fresh despite the Fringe's sketch comedy saturation, but it could do with a bit of fine tuning and polishing to really help elevate the jokes.