Edinburgh Festival `99: Fringe comedy - Dave Fulton

Assembly Rooms, Venue 3, 11.30pm, 0131-226 2428 to 29 Aug
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The Independent Culture
Seattle-born Dave Fulton (right) looks and sounds like he should be in a Pepsi Max commercial. With his tight-jawed speech, goatee beard and wild curly hair, you'd think he was going to talk about snow-boarding for an hour. In fact, BBC2 saw fit to employ him to report on American culture for Newsnight, which was an astute choice: Fulton is a bright and articulate man. This show is his Edinburgh debut and although he falls into some of the usual traps of talking about Edinburgh cabbies and the weather, the majority of his act gives a fresh and original view of topics such as Paris delis, British food and Americans abroad. The laid-back but sporadically aggressive delivery is compelling and you get caught up in his frustration as he describes the cycle of the false male ego.

When Fulton has a point to make (and there were a few) his face tightens up, the muscles in his neck go rigid and you feel as if he will burst a blood vessel. At times, his mind was working so fast his mouth just couldn't keep up and yet he wasn't afraid of the silences. It's a relief to see a comedian who understands that we need to relax and catch our breath. .