Adam Hills, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

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The Independent Culture

Having seen Hills storm Late 'n' Live a week previously, his rock entrance for this performance whetted my appetite for another high-octane turn from the Aussie. Though the audience ambiance at The Pleasance is not the bear pit that is the Gilded Balloon slot, Hills' performance proved totally consistent.

"I'm having too much fun," he says, and you can see that this is a man who loves his work, though he works a little too hard with the audience at the beginning and end of this show. It's not as if he needs to prove what a good host he is.

Of the many examples of his charm there was a lovely moment where he explains to a boy that a clitoris is the Greek god of hide and seek, yet Hills doesn't dwell down under much in an act tinged with poignancy and wonder.

A tale of a woman who lost friends in the Bali bombing provides unexpected, tasteful comic relief, the skill of Hills here is to let it teeter on the brink of emotion before reining it back to "life goes on" territory. His examination on the effect of climate on attitude and accent is like a Beginners Guide to Montesquieu, we are laughing at credible observations here, and not merely surreal extractions.

Venue 33, 10.30pm (1hr), to 25 August (0131-556 6550)

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