4/5 Stars

★★★★ The Verdict: A Cracking Good Hour of Improv

It’s a simple set-up. The audience fills out a form while queuing for the show; they accuse someone they know of a crime, and they provide a line or two of substantiating evidence. Then the show gets up and running and one of these ‘criminals’ is called to the stage by Judge (and comedian) Thom Tuck. The prosecution and defence are led by different comedians each day, but on the day in question Pippa Evans headed-up the prosecution and real-life solicitor Susan Calman took on the defence.

The audience participation is key here, the comedians question and cross question the accused to unlock the true nature of the crime. Our first audience member was accused of pretending to be afraid of banana skins so that he could make his spouse peel them for him. Obviously we’re in the realm of airing your partner’s pet hates in public here.

Pippa Evans did a grand job of exposing the accused as a misogynist who took delight in making his fiancée do menial jobs, and even found a willing volunteer in the audience to donate a banana to assist her case. Evans was hard put to compete with Calman though, whose experience of treading the courtroom’s boards meant she was extremely convincing in the accused’s defence. At the end of each case the audience play the part of jury and vote either guilty or not guilty, and then Tuck executes some sort of punishment- like being the courtroom artist for the rest of the session.

If I remember correctly, last year this show took place at the later time slot of 12.30, meaning the crowd was well on its way and the content was much fruitier. However, even at the earlier time of 7.30 we still had two ‘cases’ exposing the sex lives of the audience; getting caught having sex on a plane, and having sex while a family member was asleep in the same room. Hilarious for everyone but the poor person in the docks. Be warned: check what your friends are writing about you- the cast of this show let no leaf go unturned in their questioning!

Last word: solid good fun at the expense of others.

This is Your Trial is on at The Gilded Balloon Teviot 9-29 and begins each day at 7.30

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