The Establishment

Heroes @ Dragonfly

Aug 4-28  (22.30)


Laughs: four-stars   Material: five-stars   Delivery: five-stars

There is a charming wee room just off the Grassmarket, upstairs in the Dragonfly drinking establishment, from whose roof hangs what can only be described as a drunken chandelier. Beneath said object, all throughout August, comedy is being performed, & it is in this obscure corner of the Fringe that I have just witnessed one of the best shows I have seen this year. The Establishment are two grown men; two quintessentially cricket-loving, queen-worshipping Englishmen. Eccentric & boisterous & a little creepy at times, our two protagonists bounce & feed off each other like two Jack Russels in a park who’ve been stuck in the car after a very lllooooonnngggg drive. The best way to describe the well-oiled chit-chat of these guys is that somewhere in space, about 50 light years away, an alien civilisation is beginning to pick up the jingle-jangle cocktail of 1960s British TV & Radio – snatched snippets of conversation & phrases sent out from Auntie… this is what listening to The Establishment at work sounds like.

Their slot is perfect – 10.30PM – when we’re all on our second or third pint of the evening, helping us to rush along like that cart-wagon in the Temple of Doom, pell-melling the guys’ rickety rollercoaster ride through the British status quo. You have no choice either, for The Establishment wander about the audience at free will, getting everyone involved, but not in an annoying or invasive way, but in an its-absolutely-essential-to-the-show-that everyone-chillaxes-&-has-a-good-time kinda way. Ridiculous to the point of realistic, scripted to the point of spontaneity, there are some delightfully funny scenes which would even have her highness, the goddess Britannia, laughing so much she’d decide to have a tipple & end up at the end of the night stockingless & streaky-make-up’d, singing ‘roll out the barrel’ down Barking Road. The action is non-stop &, unlike many other comedy shows who cannot handle the full hour, these guys are equally as funny at any given moment. Top class & much deserving, ultimately one hopes, of a larger stage.
Reviewer : Damian Beeson Bullen


THE MUMBLE – The show is stuffed full of gags – how long has it taken to compile such a collection of material

THE ESTABLISHMENT – We’ve been working on this show for the last 7 months, a lot of the show we find in the moment with the audience so it can take a while to develop. We did runs at The Prague Fringe, Brighton Fringe and The London Clown Festival adding and subtracting gags along the way.

THE MUMBLE  –Where did you two meet, & was there immediate comedic chemistry

THE ESTABLISHMENT – We first met at a horrible open mike night in London, three men and a dog in the audience. We barely spoke that night but we went on to do a show together at the fringe in 2013 called ‘Pekka and Strangebones Comedy Showpiece’ and the year after ‘The Honky Bonk Comrades’. We’ve always had an easy connection on stage and we definitely share a similar taste in stupidity. We’re members of a comedy collective called ‘Honky Bonk Presents’ who make shows that are extremely ridiculous and silly, the kind of humour we enjoy.

THE MUMBLE – What does the future hold for the Establishment

THE ESTABLISHMENT – If we survive Edinburgh we plan to tour the show, maybe Australia

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