Aug 4-28 (12.30)
Three years ago, as a wee side-line during the Fringe, I did a bit of flyering outside the Tron for a comedian who voted Tory. Tenner an hour & that, it weren’t bad. Anyhow, my first review of the year 2016 Fringe saw me back in the hallowed halls of the Tron basement once more, for The Lunchtime Special of London based humour-heavy gang-bang, CK productions. With a bar in the place, there was a ‘comedy club’ feel to the whole thing – nice & relaxed it was, for sure. For our delectation they had served up a 90-minute multi-course luncheon, all of whom were in the 20s with a virile attitude to life & its imaging… & also very shiny hair. MC for the occasion was tweed-clad, smooth-talking Eshaan Akbar – Piccadilly comedian of the year, 2016 – who looked like a geography teacher & in fact commanded the affair as if we were all sat in his Higher Comedy class (A-Level).
Eshaan is a likeably amusing guy, whose confidence at the mic belies his years despite his opening barrage including an induction into the murky waters of moob-sweat. First up was Ken Cheng, a poker-playing Cambridge drop-out who could tickle the hilariousness latent within animal proverbs. Next up was Sarah Keyworth, who started slowly, but whose otherworldy expression sucked the whole world into her universe with a nippy, frolicking tractor beam of funniness. A potential star in the making.
Next up was George Rigden, who took comedy song-writing to the surrealer side of zany, whose witty attempts at self-depreciation were counterpoised perfectly by his sublime & supreme cockiness. His fun fifteen minutes were followed by Dave Green, a super droll storyteller, the kinda guy like your mate Dave that gets the drinks in down the pub. Effeminately awkward, with cutting one-liners, I loved his patter about being unfaithful to his mum’s sandwich as a kid & eating his mate’s mum’s butty! Then came the last comedian of the session, 2015 Chortle Student Award winner, Andy Field. Now, I’ll be honest, as he tossed out his comedic curve-balls into the crowd, I didn’t really know what he was going on about for the majority of the time, but they loved it.
All-in-all, a great value occasion, this, & the smart man’s way to begin a day at the Fringe. The guys are genuinely funny, & the 10-15 minute slices of their material rather like a proper tasty prosciutto on a Tuscan veranda in early May. Perhaps the individual comics don’t all merit 4 stars, but the combined effect & the acquisition of the best of their stuff all adds to a greater & a happier whole.
Reviewer : Damian Beeson Bullen