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The Black Sheep


Who Are The Black Sheep? Ubersausage as they used to be
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UberArmy 2001: from left, Andrew Jones, Tom Price, Ciaran Murtagh, Beth Sheldon, Matt Holt.

FairLy Tales - Etcetera Theatre, May 2002

Refreshing, unpretentious theatre nourishes an informal rapport between audience and performers.

The performers are combing the audience for words, opening dictionaries at random, getting us to imagine objects in boxes, and stabbing at the texts of horoscopes. 'We've got "smart"!' 'Wicked!' 'Smart' gets scrawled in a large text book, and hung by Velcro from two white cords on stage. Eight words, four story-tellers, one stool and a box of props. 'FairLy Tales' is that rare beast: refreshing, unpretentious theatre that celebrates its raw ingredients, and reinvigorates the link between teller and listener.

The improvised nature of the performance (yes, the stories are genuinely spun on the hoof) combined with the alternation of performers (from a team of seven) keeps this show fizzing and reinventing itself every night. Of course, this also means there's no guarantee as to the quality of the story you may be getting - sometimes it's the context that charms more than the sum of the words themselves - but, the night I went, Melanie Wilson indulged in a memorably macabre yarn about a wife who developed cracks all over her body, ending up in bottled pieces stored in her timid husband's house.

If the informal rapport makes you regret the auditorium/ stage divide - this, it feels, is the seductive stuff of intimate cabaret, or flickering faces around sentinel fires, or bedcovers - what lingers is the charm of performers genuinely facilitating each other rather than slickly backstabbing in the vein of 'Whose Line is it Anyway?' Warmly recommended.

Critics' ChoiceSarah Adams, Time Out


Well-structured, endlessly inventive and brilliantly funny.
The Scotsman
Bloody funny, and this show will make you laugh out loud, despite the sneaking suspicion in the back of your mind that you really shouldn't. They gleefully transcend the boundaries of taste and decency with their new show, a series of fast-paced sketches, combined with audience interaction and some creative multi-media experimentation. It's a joy to behold - apart from the bits that make you recoil in disgust, although even those parts will force the laughter from you.
The List
It's hard not to enjoy this young team's latest assault on your senses and battle for your laughs. Slick, frenetically paced and with just the right amount of cleverly used video footage, there are enough moments of genuine surreal inspiration to elevate this above most other sketch shows. Expect big things.
The Edinburgh Evening News
This energetic sketch show is fantastically executed and incredibly inventive. And that's pretty much the pattern, a large amount of clever, witty and innovative moments. Few sketch shows have the strike rate of this shamelessly enjoyable collection. Stylistically, the skits are all very different from moments of bleak psychological humor to ridiculously silly mimes, which gives a bit of texture to the proceedings. The frantic speed at which the talented cast move things along is also impressive, helping to keep energy levels high. It all makes for a great hour, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. It's a shame more sketch shows aren't like this.
Prepare yourself to get wet sweat and burst your sides with a performance that grabs and shakes you from the moment you walk in until the minute you leave. Ubersausage are fast becoming fringe favourites, a must for anyone who thinks Chris Morris is a comic genius.
Three Weeks
The team is sick and twisted beyond belief, but oh so funny with it. A series of sketches including one that tapped into one of my greatest fears since childhood will leave you disturbed, disgusted and dying with laughter.
The Big Issue
The cream of chortle-worthy talent, very funny, a top laugh.
Outlandish, eccentric and even warped, brutally mental. This energetic and eclectic team are adept at being comically shocking. They have a capacity for dipping in and out of characters with amazing speed. They are mad and they are bad but they do entertain. The juicy team has a knack of tempting you for second helpings. Go on take a bite.
The Herald
The premises are original and there is a deeply satisfying hi-tech uber-slickness. Underneath the gags and slapstick lies a thoughtful team of writers and comic actors. An infectious blend of laughs for belly and intellect, the ghostly clown sequence alone makes it worth the ticket.
The Stage
Serving up belly-laugh inducing mayhem. It is funny.
[Pick of the day]   London Evening Standard
This explosive five-strong ensemble of laughtermakers are a slick, professional outfit.
[Pick of the week]   The Mirror
Fast and furious, the outrageous humor barely stops for 55 minutes and this does make for some very entertaining set-pieces...finely tuned comic timing and self-assured presence on stage confirm a flourishing talent. They fart in the direction of convention and leer gleefully in the eye of good taste.
The Metro
One of the most popular cult comedy acts in the country.
The Evening Telegraph
There is a comic genius at work here that is probably bad for your health, but it is impossible not to tag along. A little bit of your brain is muttering that this can't be right but it's so funny that you don't care. It seems that Ubersausage can do no wrong. A downright dirty romp through a twisted psyche of creative enigma.
An energizing mix of innocence and bad taste. Fantastic fun.
An extravagant multi-media spectacular.
Go! Magazine
An hour of brilliant entertainment. The UberArmy look set to take over the comedy world.
9.5 out of 10    Scot FM
1999/2000 Reviews
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