Seymour Mace in testamental: bible stories told by an idiot, The Stand, The Edinburgh Festival

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The Independent Culture

You'd struggle to find a more apparently weighty idea for a Fringe comedy show this year than a re-telling of what Mace calls "The Bible, that book that God wrote". The prefacing and the faithful chronology do rather undercut it as a vehicle for seamless laughter, though, as does the comedian's highly understated style.

The low-maintenance Mace has just about enough momentum to stoke the warmth of his show gently. On the nomenclature of cats and dogs, he explains that God initially gave them the opposite name, and then upset them by changing his mind: "That's how the conflict first started" between the two domestic pets.

Various other ludicrous and faintly endearing logical leaps abound. Some of them lead into nice flourishes; of the story of Cain and Abel, Mace says: "Even Columbo couldn't string that [mystery] out for an hour and a half."

Though there is a consistency to the show in terms of material, it's rather undermined by Mace's low-energy style, which demands a higher quality of routine. Of one flat joke, he says: "That never works, but it works for me" – it seems to sum up the skew in satisfaction level between him and the audience. It's not the most difficult hour to pass, but it would be a much easier 20 minutes.

To 24 August (0131-558 7272)

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