FRINGE – Bulmer’s Best of the Fringe – Gov – 4K

By Heather-Jean Moyes

Bulmers Best of the Edinburgh Fest “Best of” shows are good value because they provide an opportunity for us the punters to take a risk and usually guarantee that we return home having seen at least one good act. The bad news is that this “Best of” only showcases three comedians including the MC. The good news is that this line up is gold. MC Jimmy McGee leads us into the night with his an easy banter. Those blessed with a Londoner accent seem able to put one at ease, unless the ubiquity of Jamie Oliver has turned one against the dulcet tones of the East End. Never the less, McGee’s manner is endearing, he’s easy on the eye and genuinely friendly. He has such casual grace that its easy to forget a lot of what he is doing is impro. To and fro-ing with the audience he is smart without being threatening. The not quite capacity, middle of the road audience, relaxed early and engaged with his personal variety of funny and accessible stand-up.

Tom Allen rocks up dressed to kill with immaculate suit, diamante broach and shaven head. Tom’s foray into his personal life brings laughs and nervous tremors in equal measure. The wit is sharp. Very sharp. This is useful because the discomfort for some in the audience SO adds to the tension, its just delicious and then of course that sharp wit pierces the bubble and uproar follows. Good stuff most of the time. The occasional awkward moment was handled well by an actor used to pushing a few buttons and getting a range of responses. Yes, he’s gay. This informs the delivery and the perspective rather than subject material. Tom’s intelligence, a significant element in most gay performance, shines. The audience sensed that engaging here was a little riskier but you don’t sit in the first row to go to sleep. The laughs were worth it.

John Fothergill provided the most traditional and well-rehearsed material. The self effacing “Jordy” was instantly likable with his comic appearance featuring long ginger hair, a beard, and lily white legs beneath his baggy shorts and T. He opened with a tingling line about Hagrid and Ron Weasely and had us all in the palm of his hands from then on. He worked easily with the audience saving us from being too close to the gut wrenchingly funny but raw material by segueing from sporadic themed audience participation moments into his delivery of solid if extreme observational comedy. Ripping into male female relations with honest appraisals he kept up the pace. The gags were funny because they were honest, funny because he exposed the God ugly and very funny truth about us all. Refreshing stuff.

Kryztoff rating  4K

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