Ignore the crappy title, which whiffs of student whackiness. This show deserves better. Alex Horne, ably assisted by the mildly geeky, severely deadpan Tim Key, recently discovered a Seventies academic work that attempted to analyse the mechanics of laughter, and placed the recipients, or victims, of humour on a scale (ho, ho) from one (joyless) to 10 (mindless), while placing "fish", named for the most expressionless of all creatures, halfway between those extremes. Taking this now discredited theory to its logical conclusion (ie trying it out on a fringe audience some 30 years later) he has crafted a wonderfully entertaining hour, involving audience participation (a raffle), scientifically justifiable humiliation of the front row, and plenty of bar charts and Venn diagrams.
If this all sounds a bit Dave Gorman to you, then you'd be right. But save your cynicism. Horne, bouncing around like Johnny Vaughan when he still had it, is quick-witted and genial, and like Gorman, never resorts to cheap laughs at the crowd's expense. We're all part of this experiment, even the two girls plied with a placebo, and a placebo and vodka respectively (their responses proved identical). Extremely well-conceived and executed, this makes for a fine hour laughing about laughter.
Venue 3, 10.30pm (1hr), to 25 Aug, (0131-226 2428)Reuse content