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5* Review: WitTank: Old School Secrets

By Dane YatesWitTank, a sketch show troupe made up of three public schoolboys, Naz Osmanoglu, Kieran Boyd and Mark Cooper Jones, has had a reasonable amount of success over the last couple of years, progressing from Edinburgh Fringe regulars to appearing on BBC Three late night comedy show ‘Live at the Electric’.
The trio’s latest offering, Old School Secrets, is a 45 minute long sketch show pertaining to life in a boarding school.The sketches, range from a few seconds to a couple of minutes and drift loosely from the ostensible narrative, from the dramatic overacting of a man who forgets the painful split from his girlfriends due to the more painful fact that he has just stood on a plug to the more surreal opera singing fly who taunts his newspaper wielding nemesis in slow motion.The entire show is impressively performed using only two chairs as props, and it is credit to the well-executed performances that the audience are drawn into the world of any particular sketch.On occasion Naz Osmanoglu, ventured away from the script and adlibbed parts of the show, sometimes to the surprise of his co-comedians. This was most apparent during a sketch in which he took on the role of a playwright who proves that Die Hard was a work of Shakespeare’s and that TV series Friends was actually written by Dostoyevsky.Osmanoglu left his partner on stage (in this case Kieran Boyd) stifling laughter and asking, whilst still in character, just how long this sketch was going to over run for. This anarchic approach to what was otherwise a very polished performance only added to the humour.The tour de force of the evening was the final sketch, which followed the familiar sketch show formula of taking a well known narrative and changing it slightly to render the whole thing ridiculous.

In this case it was the film Trainspotting, but rather than heroin the main character’s life was plunged into darkness by an addiction to Wotsits!

The scene ended by nicely tying back into the main narrative of the evening (the Wotsits dealer was in fact the headmaster of the boarding school)

Other than a few technical issues with the music, the show was seamless, very well-conceived and brilliantly performed with comedy ranging from the surreal to the asinine. It would be easy to see WitTank make the transition from the stage to a regular TV sketch show.

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.

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