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The Mess stages sketch comedy in SF

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The Mess, a “comedy collective of rabble rousers and self-styled iconoclasts,” opens a two-weekend run at the Shelton Theater. (Courtesy Devin Cooper)
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The Mess — self described as “a sketch comedy troupe made up of writers, performers, producers, well-wishers and hangers-on” that come from “overpriced apartments and better bridge tunnels all over the Bay Area” — brings its show to San Francisco this week.

Among the characters are meth-addicted pirates. sex-starved robots, click-baiting town criers, and, from the looks of one promotional photo, life-sized pizza slices.

The East Bay-based group, which has been performing since 2011 (and has appeared in SF Sketchfest), was formed to fill a void in the local comedy scene, says producer Spencer Bainbridge.

“San Francisco has lots of straight plays and stand-up and improv, but precious little original sketch comedy,” says Bainbridge, noting that writing, rewriting and rehearsing sketches takes more time than other types of comedy.

Co-founded by Renee LeVesque, The Mess is notable for its democratic process, too. Bainbridge says. Writers don’t typically act in or direct their own sketches, and many of the group’s members wear multiple hats.

“The Mess — Fall in San Francisco 2016 Show” opens Nov. 3 and continues at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays through Nov. 12 at the Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter St., S.F.; tickets are $15-$25 and available at sheltontheater.org and eventbrite.com.

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