Bull Skit Comedy members (contributed photo).

Bull Skit’s SketchFest brings a bounty of sketch comedy to Red Deer

Seven troupes will compete for laughs over three days

Sketch comedy troupes from as far as Toronto and Los Angeles will be entertaining in Red Deer next week at Bull Skit’s SketchFest 2017.

The third annual festival of sketch comedy, which runs Sept. 28-30 at the Scott Block Theatre, has become a huge crowd-pleaser since it was started in 2015.

It’s also become a highly anticipated event for members of Red Deer’s hosting Bull Skit Comedy crew.

“It opens our eyes to the kinds of sketch comedy being done in other places, and the kind of risks other groups are willing to take,” said Bull Skit’s associate artistic director Mosa Sayyad.

Not only do great ideas spring from the festival that pits teams against each other in friendly nightly rivalries, but “there’s great fellowship with fellow performers,” added Sayyad.

Seven groups are taking part in this year’s event, which has themed competitions each night. Members of Bull Skit must also brainstorm with artists from different troupes to pull off an all-new collaborative sketch comedy segment to wrap up the festival Saturday.

Thursday night’s show features sketches from Improv Jelly of Red Deer, and Winnipeg’s Caity &Stephen.

Friday night features Bull Skit Comedy taking on members of The Late, Late Breakfast Show (Calgary), and DK Reinemer of Los Angeles.

On Saturday, there’s the “festival collabajama,” featuring various artists from all the troupes, as well as sketches from Marv n’ Berry (Edmonton) and The Sketchersons of Toronto.

“It will be an energetic show – a really fun time,” said Sayyad, who’s thrilled that Red Deer has become such a hot-bed for improv and sketch comedy. Bull Skit, Improv Jelly and The Strapping Young Lads (who were in SketchFest 2016) all perform throughout the year for local audiences.

If Red Deer has a distinct sketch-comedy style, he feels it’s manic. “We take big risks and trust that the audience will go there with us.”

He hints, “if you like excessive acronyms, and taking turns-of-phrase to extremely literal lengths,” then you will like what Bull Skit has in store for SketchFest.

For tickets, please visit www.bullskitcomedy.com.

lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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