by Amber Pathak

With nothing but a few chairs and the players’ brilliant minds, LGBTQFA keeps your sides hurting for days afterwards. Featuring the amazing, musical comedy sketch-duo Shelf, this is a two-show-in-one treat. It’s difficult to find a comedy show exposing serious issues without feeling forced, yet this is exactly what the evening provides – a hilariously woke opener from Shelf with some killer tunes, followed by a fully-improvised show by the Free Association.

At first the need for a host seems odd, yet it is quickly made clear that Luke Healy’s infectiously fun personality brings the audience together and makes a room full of strangers feel at ease. Each player brings bucket-loads of energy to the performance and despite having somewhat similar personalities amongst themselves, each scene had a range of interesting and mindfully developed characters. The minimal use of props and complete lack of set truly immerses the audience in the performers’ scenes, allowing for every callback, pun or bit of tomfoolery to be delighted in.

Whilst each scene has its own distinct narrative, a few set-ups were fairly similar. At these points a tone change or some big cataclysmic exclamation would be welcome. But in the end they come, bigger and badder than expected, so all audiences need is some patience. Overall, this is a very show; don’t miss the chance to see it.

LGBTQFA runs through 4 February.

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