The ubiquitous Kevin Eldon popped up in some of the most influential television comedies of the Nineties and beyond – Jam, Black Books, Spaced, Brass Eye, Nighty Night and Green Wing. Not all of his Fringe audience today will know of his previous live work, or indeed be used to seeing him as the star of a show. But whatever the level of background knowledge, most, if not all, of us left his show with the feeling that we had witnessed some "titting about" of the highest order.
Doing what he says on his poster means all bases are covered. Eldon is in and out of character, doing stand-up, poetry and singing songs. He first appears to us, looking slightly less sinister than his TV incarnations, as Paul Hamilton, once voted most promising young poet in 1987. "Where are you now, Mao?" opines one of his earnest works. "Your Little Red Book is now a little-read book."
From Hamilton's support spot, Eldon reappears to sing songs about jumpy CDs, do battle with people whose intonation goes up at the end, and channel Hitler via the Beatles' producer George Martin. He also appears as Stanley Jewthorpe, fictional Northern man, to bemoan lager. "You're doing it a favour, turning it into piss. Especially Foster's." This end flourish was a dig at the new Comedy Award sponsors, chiming with the views of his friend and contemporary Stewart Lee.
It's all here, deft comedy and scenes of mild controversy. A mixed bag in the right way.
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