Bring Me the Head of Adam Riches, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

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The Independent Culture

The best kept secret of the Fringe - though probably not for much longer - Adam Riches is classed as a character comedian but that description barely does justice to the hour of high-octane, all-round entertainment he brings to Edinburgh this year. It’s 60 minutes of brilliantly conceived chaos and I never stopped laughing once.

Performed with manic zeal, his characters include an astonishingly over-enthusiastic agent and a blind board-game champion alongside reprises of his hammy impression of Daniel Day Lewis (“the most successful actor ever to appear in nobody’s favourite film”) and big-game hunter O’Hara. It’s easy, amid everything else that’s going on, to gloss over the writing, but there are lines of surreal beauty here from the Swingball obsessive and his sweatband woven from all the hamstrings he’s ever torn to the observation that Daniel Day Lewis means tannoy in Greek.

In an hour that plays out like an insane gameshow from the mind of a particularly unhinged, lightly sadistic producer, there’s no escape for the audience either. Suffice to say, he takes things as far as they might reasonably go - and then pushes them a bit further. The results are sublime. It takes a lot of guts and even more skill to do what Riches does. There’s no-one else quite like him.

To 29 August (0131 556 6550)