Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: WitTank presents The School at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), reviewed by Jay Richardson
Imposing a loose narrative on their sketches has counter-intuitively freed WitTank to deliver one of their best hours yet. Basing the action in an exclusive school for the “rich, white and male”, with the bombastic Naz Osmanoglu perfectly cast as the blowhard, violently sadistic headmaster, they evoke a deranged, menacing establishment full of eccentricity and brutality.
With Kieran Boyd and Mark Cooper-Jones playing a broader variety of characters, the latter demonstrating exceptional crowd control as an irritable choir master, it’s all boisterous, knockabout fun. True, they do concoct a rather gratuitous storyline whereby Walt Disney is languishing in the school’s basement and there is a recurring catch-up with alumni of the institution which allows them to enjoyably stretch the conceit.
One sketch, in which a Japanese father attempts harakiri because of his son’s exam results, sits uncomfortably on the borderline of racial stereotyping, while a running gag with a projector doesn’t add anything to proceedings.
Generally though, the skits are reliably funny, the trio reiterating their versatility and, on occasion, improvisational chops, with imaginative, brilliantly delivered set-pieces such as the editing of the school’s promotional video and a revelation about who actually writes Hollywood blockbusters.
Originally published in The Scotsman