Don't Trust Salmon: Fin

Fri 5th – Mon 29th August 2011


Rhiannon Kelly

at 11:13 on 15th Aug 2011



Hilarious, engaging and downright ridiculous, ‘Don’t Trust Salmon’ are everything you would ask for in a sketch show. Opening the act by justifying their hatred of our freshwater friends certainly had me hooked (line and sinker) and their bizarre anecdotal encounters with the species made sure that I am never, ever trusting a salmon again.

The sketches were varied and original, and the audio clips used between them was an entertaining and effective way to overcome the difficulty of transitions. The tube announcements and radio show snippets went down a storm, and while the surreal nature of some of their comedy may not be everyone’s kettle of fish; they had just the right balance of intelligence and fast-paced wit to mix up the show and prove their broad-ranging talent. Some of their sketches were so simple and obvious; I wondered why they hadn’t been done before. A literary chat show starring guest authors Leo Tolstoy and Eric Carle (author of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’) was pure genius and had me in stitches throughout.

The performers were all 100% committed to every role they played, which meant that any character or situation that had the potential to be stupid or awkward was overridden by their dedication. As an avid ‘Tetris’ fan in my youth, the sketch that personified those little blocks was utterly brilliant, and my frustration with the dreaded “square” came flooding back as they discussed their roles in the harsh business. However, the ending to this sketch was disappointing, as the group resorted to a simplistic crude remark that did not echo the originality of the sketch as a whole.

Not all the sketches were perfectly developed, but the energy of the group never faltered. The structure of the show was so slick and polished I was astonished to find out that they’ve only been working together for a year. I still find myself remembering parts of this show and chuckling to myself, and if that isn’t proof of a good-quality performance (or my own insanity) I don’t know what is.


Juliet Roe

at 11:58 on 15th Aug 2011



A title like ‘Don’t Trust Salmon: Fin’ at the fringe is more often than not just a ploy to catch curious and easily amused audience members. This show, however, opened and closed with a genuinely funny, surreal sketch about the waywardness of salmon and their deceptive ways, put to the tune of what used to be known as ‘O Fortuna’ by Carl Orff but is now more commonly known as ‘that intro music from the X-factor’. Over the next 50 minutes, the standard and tone of comedy was generally maintained, making this a genuinely hilarious and enjoyable show to see.

The usual pitfalls that plague sketch comedy shows were still evident; some of the sketches ended with a dose of puerile humour which is resorted to far too often in this genre. The pace of the show is kept up by the pre-recorded gags played during scene transitions, though the quality of these did wane towards the end. For the most part, however, this was a very well delivered and original show, featuring surrealist humour which might not be to everyone’s taste but that definitely tickled this reviewer. Sketches which might have gone on too long, such as a joint interview between Leo Tolstoy and Eric Carle, the creator of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, were kept funny by the enthusiasm and wit of the cast. I felt that the sketch about a spider in the bath who fights back could have been made more of, as just that concept has had me giggling sporadically long since I left Zoo Roxy, as have many of the other sketches. It’s this, and coming out of a show asking ‘why has that not been done before?!’ that are indications of this being a really good sketch show. I probably won’t be able to eat anything with salmon in it for a while without giggling.


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