“Yes. They’re called Late Night Gimp Fight. Hhmmm. Not sure if that’s my kind of thing.”
And so the conversation went, as I read the first few lines of a publicity poster. A masked gimp holding a baby urges me to read more about these supposed gimps, before making a decision as to whether I should watch them live.
Up and coming comedy troupe Late Night Gimp Fight present an offering of light hearted, tongue in cheek sketches. An empty space – a blank canvas of a set with little more than a couple of chairs bookending either side of the stage – sets our scene, with a backdrop of a projection screen which intermittently ‘tunes in’ between sketches blasting out cheekily re-edited versions of well-known clips, commercials and songs.
Sketches are short – in some instances a little too short, but more often than not, they are genuinely funny and the audience responds in kind with generous quantities of laughter, heckling and applause. LNGF are a talented clan who have clearly navigated their way through the minefield that is ‘commercial for the sake of being commercial’ comedy. Key moments of visionary comedic insight become apparent in sketches such as the wonderful ‘hoodie mime act’. This sketch rockets high above the others in its ability to illustrate the dark humour on offer – it manages to be both subtle and explicit. I won’t share the specifics of the sketch, as it will be a treat for anyone who watches the gimps live.
Some critics have slammed the gimps, labelling their comedy as unintelligent. First and foremost, surely gimp based comedy needs to be well conceived and original? It should push the boundaries of what is socially understood as acceptable; rather than merely conform to the label of ‘intelligent comedy’? LNGF seem to know what makes a comedy sketch funny, and their strengths very much sit firmly in their high energy performance and easily identifiable musical theatre skills.
Whilst exceptionally funny at points, one can’t help but ponder that LNGF don’t quite feel like a finished product. Of course, they are relatively new to the scene so this is to be expected to a degree. I also feel obliged to mention that the gimps were dealing with a bit of a crisis on this particular evening – they were unexpectedly missing a gimp – they hadn’t misplaced him, he was stuck somewhere outside of the M25 thanks to the treacherous wonders of the beast we call the ‘A1’. With that in mind it seems fair to assume that whilst this performance may not have been one the gimps will recall as their finest, it was still immensely entertaining.
With more time, and more gigs under their belt I am certain this comedy collective will flourish, and their existing cult following will slowly develop into a mass national audience. I only hope they continue to play local venues when fame and fortune engulfs them. Well done boys – keep up the hard work!