Belfast's Hole In The Wall comedy company prides itself on leaving no sacred cows unslaughtered. Its sketches and stand-up routines poke merciless fun at all parties involved in Ulster's problems. Beside the Irish jokes, the repartee includes a Blind Date take-off – Bishop Casey competing with David Mellor and Paddy Ashdown for the attentions of Fergie – and a Sportsnight-style running commentary on a production of Macbeth (the archetypal Troubles play). The company knows how to programme its set to support its weaker material: they close each routine on a high note, notably a sketch with the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad glee club singing, "If you're Irish, Come Into The Courtroom". Not surprisingly, many in their homeland (and mine) dislike them; many more, however, applaud their irreverence and nerve.
Written for The Independent.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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