Edinburgh 2013: Jamie Demetriou: People Day - A Steve Coogan in the making?


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The Independent Culture

To embody a pious, chubby choirboy and a creepy, wizened nanny with equal conviction takes talent and twisted imaginative powers: Jamie Demetriou has both in spades.

At just 25 years old, the Bristol University graduate is already a character comedian to watch, a Steve Coogan in the making, even. Certainly the four creations he serves up in this, his first full show, recall some of the finest of the genre while remaining startlingly original.

There's a touch of Ali G to his clueless RnB wannabe while the aforementioned sadistic nursemaid would fit right in alongside the League of Gentlemen in Royston Vasey. A bullied choirboy with a pitch-perfect irritating voice and, best of all, washed-up cabaret act Michael, on a bid to impress his estranged daughter from the stage, make up his quartet of failures and misfits.

Demetriou, leaping between creations in his socks, has the fearlessness which distinguishes the best character actors. Sight gags, observations on slogan t-shirts, bad rapping, and, in the case of one deliriously surreal game of Chinese Whispers, audience interaction, all add up to an accomplished all-round set.

With credits on television sketch shows Cardinal Burns and Anna and Katy and a BBC pilot with *Office* producer Ash Atalla already under his belt, Demetriou's star is rising fast and no wonder. To adapt Michael's catchphrase: he's got it.

To 26 August, not 12 (0131 556 6550)