Fan Club is the third successive Edinburgh show from sketch outfit Present and Correct – and the new generation has served up an enjoyable routine which, even if it didn't move me to join the club myself, is at least a pleasant way to ease yourself into the day.
It feels like morning shows tend to either be light frippery for children, or Worthy Theatre for serious Fringe-goers. So if you want to follow your breakfast with a generous helping of sketches, then this could be one to try. The six members of Present and Correct start by setting up their central running gag – that they are actually a seven-piece group, and they are waiting for the final member to show up. (That person is supposed to be a minor celebrity, of whom half the guys claim to be the world's biggest fan; I couldn't figure out any other justification for the title.)
The sketches overall are decent, and a few of them demonstrate some very strong writing and/or performance – time travel and the flower shop both had good gags and good delivery, for example, and the French exam was a clever scenario that was well executed. There were a few times when some sketches just very slightly overstayed their welcome, usually either by telegraphing the punchline or because of an unnecessary line of dialogue that, on a couple of occasions, had me screaming (internally!) "yes, that's the joke!"
This may demonstrate a little uncertainty from the performers, which, if so, is actually unwarranted. Edinburgh crowds are usually quite intelligent comedy consumers, and there shouldn't be a problem with drunken rowdiness before elevenses, I'd hope. Fan Club is generally well thought-through and considered, and will get the audience laughing – and figuring out where the comedy lies themselves.
By the time we'd come full-circle, and the opening joke is paid off nicely, we were doing just that. Safe, solid and straightforward sketches, delivered with enthusiasm by a spirited young cast – setting you up for a day at the Fringe. Who's not going to be a fan of that?