Gein's Family Giftshop: Testing the Hive Mind

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 3 minutes
Published 02 Aug 2015
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Gein's Family Giftshop

Nominated for Best Newcomer at last year’s Fringe with their debut show Volume 1, pitch-black sketch group Gein’s Family Giftshop then went on to win the same award at the Chortle Awards in March. Returning with the inspired title of Volume 2 we checked in to see if the fame had gone to their heads. Locking them in separate rooms, we set the four members that make up Gein’s (Kath ‘the Nothing’ Hughes; Kiri ‘the Overlord’ Pritchard-McLea; Jim ‘the Boss’ Meehan; and Ed ‘the Penis’ Easton) a questionnaire to test their mental stability.

While deviating slightly, it’s clear they share a hive mind of puerile yet undoubtedly hilarious thoughts. The most worrying aspect was almost certainly the drawings they did of "an animal that you feel best sums up Gein’s". Only one member actually drew an animal and even that was Kath’s mythical demon-fish hybrid. A glimpse into the dark and harrowing mindscape of Gein’s Family Giftshop.

What is sold in Gein’s Family Giftshop?

Kiri: Chewable tooth brushes and those weights you clip on to tablecloths to stop them blowing away. Also, fart spray.

Kath: Bowls made out of skulls + one rubber + a selection of key rings.

Ed: Sweet, sweet goofs. But it’s way too expensive, like Harrod’s (take that Harrod’s).

Jim: Ed’s penis seems to be our biggest seller. Although we do sell blood, poop, and P.E. kits too.


Who are your comedy heroes?

Kath: Jessica Hynes, Chris Morris, League of Gentlemen.

Kiri: The League of Gentlemen, Maria Bamford.

Ed: Chris Morris.

Jim: Jackson Pollock. Funny guy, fooling everyone with his ‘art’.


Where do you see yourself in five years?

Kath: Still riding on Kiri, Ed and Jim’s coat tails.

Kiri: In a new more financially viable sketch group.

Ed: Retail.

Jim: Given up. Probably start teaching a comedy course. Easy money.


How many ways can you skin a cat?

Kath: One. Properly or not at all.

Kiri: A lady never reveals her secrets.

Ed: How long’s a piece of string with 6 thousand cats skins attached? (6 thousand-ish.)

Jim: If you come near my cat I’ll fucking hurt you.


Of all the members of Gein’s who is the most likely to devlop a degenerating gambling/drug habit and start stealing from the other members?

Kath: Jim

Kiri: Jim

Ed: Jim

Jim: Obviously me.


Favourite serial killer and why?

Kath: H.H. Holmes because he went to the trouble of building a torture house.

Kiri: Delphine LaLaurie – torture, socialites and Nicolas Cage, it’s a real tour de force. Also, she’s a chick, I’m nothing if not a feminist.

Ed: BTK, he tried to build a brand.

Jim: Robert Hanson. He had a plane and was a good cook.

People we want to see in Edinburgh: Goose, they're our sketch crushes and like us they have a secret one, they also have a red haired one and a lanky physical one and there's only two of them. That means they're packing a lot more traits into their two people than we are into our four. However, none of them has Jim's intrinsic knowledge of crispy pancakes so I think that makes us better than them? They make sketch look like something else and it's brilliant. Michael J. Dolan is a superb stand up comedian. Like. Really superb. Nihilistic, dense, hilarious stand up comedy that makes you wonder why you can't be funnier. You'll also wonder what the point of it all is but that's healthy too. Sam and Tom, the artist formally known as Staple/Face, are the Sugababes of sketch. They constantly change line ups and one day it'll just be a pair of shoes on stage. I think this line up is our favourite. Without external pressures Sam and Tom are left to be as surreal as they like, it's proper bonkers and as funny as webbed feet, on someone else. Our show in five words: Hopefully, better than last year.