Dane Baptiste, Pleasance Courtyard - review: A confident, affable debut

Edinburgh Festival 2014: It will not be long before Baptiste is on Mock the Week or similar

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The Independent Culture

Dane Baptiste had his qualms about bringing his first show to the Edinburgh Fringe. “I was worried I’d be confused with the other seven black guys up here”, he says, with a sly smile.

Born to Grenadan parents and raised in South East London, the 32-year old comedian may have struggled to come to terms that he will “never be on Midsomer Murders” but on the evidence of this confident, affable debut, it will not be long before he is on Mock the Week or similar.

A number of his routines - one about immigrants “stealing jobs”, another positing an alternative future for himself in which nutmeg (Grenada’s main export) becomes illegal and he becomes a dealer - feel, for better or worse, ready-made for Live at the Apollo.

In fact, it’s in his less slickly honed, more surreal set pieces, that the best moments are found. His assertion that “no-one’s a gangster around a wasp”, accompanied by clownish flailing arms, is observational comedy at its finest. There’s not quite enough material here yet but this is an enjoyably laidback hour from a promising new voice. Expect to hear much more of it in future.

To 24 August (0131 556 6550)