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Big Big Big: Catching Jack

  • Comedy
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
Big Big Big: Catching Jack
Photograph: Supplied / Asha Holmes Publicity

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Jack the Ripper serves as inspiration for this silly sketch comedy

The true-crime genre has millions of fans worldwide. This is not news. But the crimes that arguably started it all were those of Jack the Ripper, the enigmatic Victorian (era, not resident) murderer who slayed gratuitously and was never found. 

That grim chapter in history serves as inspiration for Big Big Big’s 2021 MICF show, Catching Jack. Dare we say, Catching Jack might even breathe new, humorous life into the gory myth. The Big Big Big trio consists of Ella Lawry, Millie Holten and Madi Savage, plus their absurdist sketch comedy style. The show finds the three of them as Scotland Yard detectives (and best friends with a secret “handshake”) determined to track down Jack the Ripper. 

The show is slow to warm up – or perhaps that’s simply the audience acclimatising to the wonderfully nonsensical period piece. Once Big Big Big find their rhythm, the jokes land pretty infallibly and with an air of unpredictability that adds to the thrum of laughter. Despite only being three people, the trio work through a cast of characters earnestly. From the amorous Rat King to Constable Hot Hot Neck and the inexplicably Chicago-accented Big Ben (complete with a tribute to the musical Chicago), every character feels fleshed out and adds something to the ridiculous plot.

Catching Jack, like many a good sketch show, makes ample (and in this case, skillful) use of props. The world is your oyster once you learn how to papier mache, and Big Big Big use a variety of props to amplify the general atmosphere of absurdity. Not to mention lights and a soundscape to best channel 1800s London within the small Improv Conspiracy stage. The lazy comparison to Big Big Big might be to the current kings of sketch, Aunty Donna, but it’s still hard not to wonder just what Ella, Millie and Madi could do with a Netflix-sized budget.

If you like true crime, creepy nonsense and wizards who love lizards, you'll like Catching Jack. Make sure to say hi to Lantern Man while there.

Nicola Dowse
Written by
Nicola Dowse


Opening hours:
Thu-Sat 7pm; Sun 6pm & 7.30pm
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