Venue: Cabaret Arena
Reviewer: Kris Hallett
Sketch based comedy is a dying breed on television, but still an ever popular form on the cabaret scene. The one group that has breached beyond the fringe and into the nation’s consciousness over the past couple of years is Cardinal Burns, the brainchild of Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns.
While watching an hour of their sketch show( now a monthly London event), their popularity is not a surprise, they combine the intellectually stimulating with the knockabout silly. It’s an intoxicating mixture, an hour in their presence really is nothing but an aperitif. The characters they introduce us to here are new and include Northern motivational speakers who soon turn angry and French presenters whose gig descends into homo-erotica. Their act on our screens, and here, always feels daring and challenging. These new characters may not as yet live up to their best creations, the suburban dad Banksy or office flirts, but they all have potential for further life. One hopes to see them in any future series of their TV show (please let there be one). This is the most excited this reviewer has felt about a comedy troupe since The League Of Gentleman creeped him out as a gothic enthused twelve-year-old.
Their act for Latitude includes special guests; Jamie Demetriou gives us ten minutes of an imaginary Zayn Malick stand up set that gets rather lost among the Guardian-reading leftists in the tent, though does eventually warm up. Natasia Demetriou and Ellie White deliver a hilarious parody of Eastern European women singing about their delight in being All-American Women and then top it with an inspired riff on James Bond films. It’s a great hour of sketch-based comedy that proves the genre is still going strong even if it has now almost completely disappeared from our screens.