Fringe review: Herbeaver

The all-female sketch comedy troupe goes a mile a minute with little payoff

HERBEAVER by Heather Gallant, Mallory Morgan and Katie Preston. At Factory Theatre Studio (125 Bathurst). July 6 at 3:15 pm, July 7 at 4:30 pm, July 9 at 9:45 pm, July 10 at 6:15 pm, July 12 at 8:15 pm, July 13 at 2:45 pm. See listing. Rating: NN

If there were a competition for how many sketches a comedy troupe could perform in an hour, Herbeaver would surely be in the running. But as a standalone show, the pacing feels unnecessarily rushed, a turnstile of half-baked ideas.

Heather Gallant, Mallory Morgan and Katie Preston are all energetic performers, with a knack for social commentary. One of their strongest sketches is set at a “trigger warning bar,” where Morgan and Preston fail to order any cocktails without offensive names. Another highlight are song lyrics juxtaposing a “feminist man” with lewd sexual acts, which elicited some of the loudest laughs – and a few groans – on opening night.

Unfortunately, many of their premises are too absurd and the sketches are too short for the audience to catch on – it’s over before the punchline even has a chance to land. One bit about Toronto tourists with heavy accents feels dated, and another inspired by British murder mysteries is nonsensical. The show could benefit from slowing down.


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