BWW Review: NEWS HACKS, Oran Mor, Glasgow
News Hacks is a new political sketch show that will be performed monthly in Glasgow which promises to "put the satire back into the saltire".
The cast of three deliver the material with scripts in hand which I enjoyed because it wasn't a super-slick polished performance. The script was up-to-the-minute with references to the Royal wedding a few days ago and I felt that not requiring the actors to have memorised the script gave them more opportunity to keep it as up to date as possible.
Elaine McKenzie-Ellis has excellent comedic timing and delivers accurate impersonations of the likes of Nicola Sturgeon and Lorraine Kelly. A particular highlight was a sketch that involved Nicola Sturgeon appearing on Mastermind with her specialist subject being Ruth Davidson. I initially thought that the show was quite Independence-leaning but there were enough cutting remarks about Alex Salmond to generate some balance. Another sketch that I thought worked very well was Jimmy Chisholm as a reporter interviewing Des McLean as a Stornoway resident on the news that a mosque was opening on Stornoway.
The evening was split into two forty five minute segments with a short break in the middle. I feel that if the whole show had been a solid hour of the strongest material it would have worked a lot better. While there were genuinely hilarious and sharp moments throughout, there were several gags that fell flat and sketches that outstayed their welcome.
Writers Karen Townsend and Rikki Brown certainly show promise with a large chunk of their material. There were a couple of lines that were a little close to the bone but the majority of the evening was light hearted and fun.
News Hacks is on at the Oran Mor on Wednesday 20th June.