Minor Delays are a sketch trio with a fine pedigree: both Abi Tedder and Harry Mitchell are former presidents of the Cambridge Footlights, while Joe Barnes was the president of the Leeds Tealights. Few sketch teams would consider bringing a two-piece string section to Edinburgh with them, but, of course, this lot have. The string section is a nice, if slightly superfluous, touch, and might make one think this show may be a bit too fancy-pants. Luckily, while some sketches are sly and clever, a fair few are just plain dumb. The most absurd sketches are actually heightened by the fact that there’s a string section in the room, so it all works out quite nicely.
Aside from the strings, the set-up is rather minimalist; only three chairs, no props, and the trio perform straight to the audience, rather than each other. The means the performers have to work a little harder, as the audience’s eyes are on them the entire time. All three players are engaging enough to pull it off. Not every sketch lands, and some of the darker ones are deliberately awkward, edging away from easy punchlines. For the most part, the quality of the sketches is pretty high. One recurring scenario in particular was employed brilliantly, and got the loudest laughs of the show. There are a lot of sketch groups at the Fringe, but you won’t go far wrong with this one. Recommended.
1 -25 August (not 11), Gilded Balloon, 15.00