Review: The Canon – A Literary Sketch Show

By No Mean Feet
Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh, 3 – 28 August 2017

4 Stars (4 / 5)


By No Mean Feet’s second edition of The Canon: A Literary Sketch Show is an hour spent poking fun at the greatest works of Western Literature. Starting unsurprisingly with the Scottish play, the 6-member cast reimagine, dramatise and challenge what audiences understand to be the highest examination of our human condition in quick sketches.

Rather than an academic examination, The Canon is full of wit, laughter and punch, as the actors take audiences back to their younger days, when they struggled to make sense of James Joyce’s Ulysses, questioned Wilfred Owen’s diction and never got the answers to the glaring plot holes in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Modern bestsellers like Where’s Waldo (or Wally?) are also featured. All of these come together with simple staging, hilariously unconvincing staging devices and painfully awkward physicality.

Witty, intelligent and delightfully creative, The Canon: A Literary Sketch Show is Sparknotes on laughing gas. This show is recommended to readers and those who want to pretend that they do.