Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Gein’s Family Giftshop: Volume 2, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson.
Self-degrading sketch group Gein’s Family Giftshop made quite an impression last year, delivering a series of warped skits that secured a nomination for best newcomer in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Sadly, they can’t sustain that quality.
With James Meehan as the designated man of the group, Kath Hughes as the trigger-tempered woman and Ed Easton as the random element, plus fourth member and writer Kiri Pritchard-McLean in the tech booth and evoked in inappropriate sexual reminisce, they mockingly acknowledge their preoccupations as “blood, poo and bumholes”. Which is undoubtedly true. But one graphically mimed descent into Hell notwithstanding, Easton seems more inhibited this time, the sense he might manically wrest the show into chaotic new territory at any moment reduced.
Reflecting their pervading lack of development, Hughes’ irrational resort to threat becomes predictable too. Witty sequences remain, an item check on an expedition revealed as something less wholesome, while Meehan twists his relationship with his mother into desperate consequences for the group. Gein’s fluidity and lack of fuss between sketches is admirable but a few sharper, shocking edges would have consolidated their reputation more effectively.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 11 August 2015
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