Tom Parry, Edinburgh Fringe review: Pappy's and Badults star makes a gloriously silly stand-up debut

'Yellow T-shirt' is a paean to fancy dress and silliness

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The Independent Culture

Tom Parry makes his much-anticipated debut as a stand-up, although he is already a well-known Edinburgh face thanks to his years as the naughtiest one in the excellent sketch troupe Pappy’s and their BBC3 sitcom Badults.

Consequently his debut solo show pushes all the right comedy buttons and Parry shows himself to be just as warmly, likeably daft a stand-up as he is a sketcher.

Yellow T-Shirt is loosely a demonstration of how fancy dress can change a person’s life, provided one lets go and enters into the spirit of the exercise. Not a bad creed for the show either, as it happens. Parry, unsurprisingly, looks down on "hirers" preferring to fashion his own complex outfits, frequently dressing up as things like the Berlin Wall, or a spoon. Similarly, he gives sexy Halloween costumes short shrift. "Don't come as a sexy schoolgirl. Come as a missing one."

His comic thesis, such as it is, is interspersed with “Jokes” and “Thoughts” which, in a touch that is at once inclusive and cannily structural, Parry hands out on cue cards to the audience. There’s a trumpet, some nudity and the perfect way to answer the question, “Have you put on weight?”

Taken together it’s an energetic, sweaty paean to joy and seizing life by the silly scruff. With so much mis-comedy, about death, disease and failure, on the Fringe this year, this was a welcome dose of funny for the sake of funny.

I beamed all the way through and at the end gave it a standing ovation. In truth, Parry demanded it but I did not begrudge it one bit. A highlight. 

Just the Tonic at The Tron, to 30 August (Pay What You Want, www.edfringe.com)

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