Image courtesy of NASA.
Hot-Beds Comedy Sketch
The newly launched Opium comedy Hot-Beds provides a night of uninhibited immersion in the domain of the sketch show, at times a terrifying, but predominantly brilliant, place to be. January’s show saw the return of Planet Caramel with additional contributions from Biscuit Box and Twins, all of whom revel in the act of lively and performative gags.
Playing host for the evening, Planet Caramel became the night’s overriding presence, engaging the crowd both interactively and with the confidence of seasoned professionals. However, when the given niceties ended and the jokes themselves took precedence, it became apparent that the majority of sketches lacked genuine direction, were spoiled by misjudged comic timing, and relied on a raucous vibe for the sake of reducing the prospect of an awkward atmosphere. Moreover, there was a sense of trying to obscure a potential lack of ideas by enacting the most bizarre scenes that could be plucked from the imagination, such as engulfing plastic baby parts in fruit. The audience seemed to enjoy every moment despite Planet Caramel’s lack of sufficient comic intelligence to produce a set of any great quality.
The ante was most definitely upped upon the arrival of the night’s second trio, who comprised their set of brilliant impressions perfectly capturing all desired caricatures. Biscuit Box sustained both personality and professionalism throughout, their highlight being a spoof of documentary makers compounded by excellent comic timing, and an innate knowledge of how to please the demands of their audience.
Whilst the show’s final act, Twins, lacked the finesse of their predecessors, becoming bogged down with aimless chit-chat as opposed to carefully crafted jokes, there were moments of true comedy which would not go amiss on the small screen. Not always superb, but rectifying this through momentary brilliance and audience enjoyment, Opium’s Hot-Beds are a sure possibility for all lovers of sketch comedy.