Edinburgh Festival Day 2 / Reviews : Steve Coogan in character with John Thomson

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The Independent Culture
'A black man, a Pakistani and a Jew are in a disco - what a wonderful racial mix]' says Bernard Right-On, the achingly reconstructed Northern club comedian. He is the main character assumed by John Thomson in this character-based stand-up routine. Sandwiched between a gallery of grotesques from Steve Coogan (a voice from Spitting Image), Thomson's growling, beer-bellied banterer brilliantly subverts audience expectations with crass racist, sexist or superannuated jokes for which the punchlines never come. Coogan, meanwhile, specialises in repellent oiks, from a lecherous drunk to the supremely patronising sportscaster Alan Partridge ('Of course, women are allowed to compete in the Olympics, which gives the whole thing a bit of glamour'). The material is variable, but the timing is flawless.

The Gilded Balloon, 233 Cowgate (venue 38) 031-226 2151. 10.30pm. To 5 Sept.