Fringe Comedy

Glenn Moore

Just The Tonic- Caves- Just Up The Road

Four stars

Darren Walsh


Three stars

Andy Storey

The Counting House

Two stars

YOU KNOW someone's posh when they lob a Latin gag into their routine. Glenn Moore is a class act in every sense of the word. Not content with his carpe diem opener, he raises the high-brow bar with ridiculously random references to Charles Dickens, similes and Melvyn Bragg. One half of sketch duo, Thunderbards, this is Glenn's solo 60 minute debut and it's an extremely self-assured and well-crafted one. Glengarry Glen Glenn tells the story of growing up in a tiny West Sussex village where, "the average age is dead". Featuring milestone moments like a trip to the local library and being the only person at the school disco he weaves a poignant, off-beat tale of Monopoly and monotony. Like a version of The Archers for the iGeneration, it's packed with clever characterisations, punchlines and pathos as he dreams of being cool. There are a couple of minor dips in proceedings, but when the occasional joke falls a bit flat - like his Bertie Bott's Jelly Bean temper tantrum- he quickly rectifies things with an insanely clever cucumber call back. With a huge social media following and a host of radio appearances, Glenn is undoubtedly bound for geeky greatness. How cool is that?

Until August 28

NARROWLY beating a 12-year-old girl to the award for best joke at last year's Fringe then being mistakenly called Dave by Eamonn Holmes on live TV are Darren Walsh's current claims to fame. But he's back this year, all puns blazing and might just have the last laugh. Using all manner of multi-media props, he rattles through one-liners at warp speed. You can't help but admire his 'value-for-pun-ny' approach, but slowing things down just a smidgen would prevent some of punchlines getting lost as the audience reel in a whiplash of whimsy. It's extra cheese please as a generous sprinkling of audience participation involving a virtual wheel of fortune has them groaning in the aisles. There's a spot of nifty dad dancing to accompany some of the more dad-worthy jokes and It would be good to see the physical humour developed even further. The loudest laughs of the evening came when he added some mimicry to the mix. 'Fraggle Rock In A South African Accent' and 'Scouse TV Detectives' were both, once heard, never forgotten earworm moments. If you like your humour served extra random with a side order of silliness then go see this talented wordsmith wax lexical.

Until August 29

IN FOREST Gump style, Andy Storey's set was like a box of chocolates. At times it was an odd assortment, you certainly never knew what you were going to get next and there were perhaps a few too many coffee creams for everyone's liking. In @FUNNYSTOREY his early observations on what his family back home in the North of England thought of his London life-style were sharp and funny and had a wistful Alan Bennett quality to them. Similarly, memories of childhood games and school assemblies were perfectly-pitched for the lunch-time crowd of mature couples and family groups. But with everyone settled in nicely and Andy on first name terms with the entire front row, the show suddenly veered off in a very post-watershed direction. Strangely, the material seemed to sit uncomfortably with not only the majority of the audience but Andy himself . He pulled things back a little with a deliciously dry slant on old-style sayings and I especially loved his description of a vest feeling like, "a hug under a shirt." Stick to what you do best is the clear message here.

Until August 29

Gayle Anderson