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“Hilarious” – Broadway Baby ★★★★

Middlesbrough sketch-pros Heavy Petting put on a wacky and fast-paced comedy sketch show complete with a weird fetish for Batman, hitting people with hammers and totally authentic hip hop. It’s mad-cap oddness with big laughs and fat grins.

The performers are energetic and hilarious, setting up good punch lines and the odd bemusing non-joke which still evokes the right kind of chuckles from the audience. The highlight is without a doubt the Jason Show and it’s worth rocking up to Haymarket for that sketch alone. Another brilliant sketch is one about ‘serious dating’ and this, along with a couple of other strong sketches, are complemented with funny follow-ups as the show proceeds.

Each member of the Heavy Petting team has a unique style and the group work well together, bouncing off one another, showing good chemistry and a flair for wacky inventiveness. There are a couple of sketches that sometimes go out on a slight whimper rather than a big bang, but when the sketches work, they work very well.

With some good audience interaction and the odd weird moment that might actually make you jump, Heavy Petting: Hammer Time is great energetic fun. And hooray, it’s part of the Free Fringe and considerably better than some of the comedy shows you’d pay about eight quid to see! If it’s a wacky and lively sketch show you’re after, then get yourself over to Haymarket for some happy hammer hilarity!