Matchbox Theatre takes 24 short plays by Michael Frayn and presents them in five minute sketches, in the space of two hours. The small cast move from story to unrelated story in the most expert way and keep the audience laughing all the way through the interval and definitely a long time after the end.

The whole auditorium is rearranged for this performance as the actors perform in the round. Esther Coles comes out to explain to the audience how this theatrical choice works – thrusting the audience straight into the comedy. The round staging makes the show more inclusive for audiences too, as one audience member who got caught up in the props could tell you; however, it does not quite work when the actors have their back to your section of the auditorium as the lines and the sound does get lost. The set is cleverly designed so that scenes can be created quickly and without too much fuss; a trap door and revolving stage is a perfect design for a show of this style.

The comedy is spot on but the shortness of these sketches does not allow much story development. While in other plays this might be considered disappointing, in this show it works well as the focus is purely on the language and the comedy and it most certainly is not a let-down.

Some of the comedy styles find comparison with some older generation comic geniuses. An old couple, who have been lying in their tomb for 613 years, give a Monty Python vibe as their old ways are combined with a modern twist. Similarly, a young couple who are frustrated by the man’s lack of ability to finish a sentence and the woman’s determination to finish it for him draws on a certain sketch by The Two Ronnies. That is not to say that most of the plays are not original in their hilarity, reminding the audience of their much loved interval memories or a not-so-romantic airport scene.

The comedy is so brilliant because it draws on relatable incidents from day to day life such as the wife who tells her husband about “The man who came to fix the thing” or the politician who wants to make it ‘clear’ that they have nothing much to say.

The fast pace of the whole performance makes the whole show whizz by as you cannot quite settle into one story before another begins. There is no time to get bored in this show!

Matchbox Theatre is playing at Hampstead Theatre until 6 June. For tickets and more information, see the Hampstead Theatre website