Set up in 2013 by Ellen Gallagher and Stephen Jordan, comedy theatre group Bad Bat Productions have been regular feature on the fringe circuit, with their productions of Pilgrim Shadow and The Probleming. For their latest production, they have taken the topical subject of ‘big business’ and run with it with a sketch comedy show called Global Mega Incorporated.
The evening reminded me (in a good way) of watching a programme like The Fast Show on TV. Some of the sketches had a continued theme (i.e. Trying to save the conglomerate from going bankrupt), while others were ‘standalone’ and could be enjoyed out of context of the evening.
Cliff Chapman as CEO Jeremiah Baptiste (a cross between General Melchett in Blackadder Goes Forth and Jay in The Inbetweeners) brought a requisite joie de vivre to the proceedings, while Emma Stirling as his hapless assistant ‘Percy’ played straight man to the many wacky things going on.
On observation, I found two aspects of the evening particularly noteworthy. Firstly, in some of the sketches there was a thread of absurdist humour that would have done the Monty Python team proud. Not everybody can pull that off, but in this collection of sketches it worked really well. On this occasion, more is more! The other things I was impressed with was the way sensitive subjects such as the subtle, ongoing gag about religion and ‘Steveism’ (you’ll have to see the show to know what this refers to!) were handled. If poorly executed, I dare say some could have found it in poor taste, but not only was it funny, it was thought-provoking, while still putting across different points of view.
Comedy is only as good as the material the performers have to work with and on the strength of their latest material, Bad Bat have acquired a new found confidence and ‘maturity’ (if that’s the right word to use for comedy!) in their work as they broaden their material and write not only gags, but have something to say about today’s world.
(c) Michael Davis 2015