Only Human (Highbrau) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

highbrauI’ve had some pretty good luck in the past picking sketch comedy shows to see at the Toronto Fringe, and it’s nice to have kept that lucky streak going with the bubbly humour of Highbrau’s Only Human.

Only Human is a collection of sketch and improv comedy troupe Highbrau’s best and brightest sketches with a few new selections tossed into the mix. There’s a good variety of quick vignettes, longer scenes and even a few choice musical numbers with ukulele accompaniment. The nimble quality of the performances is one of the group’s greatest strengths and their level of comfort performing together just adds some extra zest to the mix.

Overall, I thought the sketches were fun and upbeat, if a little inconsistent. Some of the writing didn’t seem as strong in all of the sketches, and I think the cast might have had some first night jitters as the energy level seemed a bit shaky at the start. Highbrau’s humour tends to lean on the absurd, taking in relatable moments and then flipping them on their heads in a generally delightful way. I also appreciated the snappy pace of the show, the fast scene changes, and the absence of awkward lag time that some Fringe productions suffer from.

I think the whole ensemble does an excellent job, though some standouts for me were Mark Shyzer’s dry delivery and his impressively limber physical comedy, as well as Rakhee Morzaria’s boundless energy, even when channeling a hardcore realist debunking nursery rhymes.

If you’re a newbie to the Fringe festival or you’re looking for something light, fun and quick-witted, I think you’ll do fine picking up a ticket to Highbrau’s Only Human.


Only Human plays at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Ave.)

Show times

July 05 at 01:30 PM
July 06 at 06:15 PM
July 08 at 06:45 PM
July 09 at 08:15 PM
July 10 at 09:45 PM
July 11 at 03:30 PM
July 12 at 01:00 PM

Tickets for all mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only. Advance tickets are $12, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West). Money-saving value packs are also available if you are going to at least five shows; see website for details.

 To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.