Daniel Kitson, The Stand ***** <br></br> Stories For The Wobbly Hearted, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh ****

Comedy to savour from a charming storyteller
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The Independent Culture

I can't imagine anyone with a heart not wanting to indulge Kitson. When he rails about audiences that he doesn't like to other audiences it might seem like a road you don't want to follow him down. But tonight he's on irresistible form and imploring us to share his joy, for example, looking out of a train window and thinking "anything could happen" even though, he admits, "it probably won't". If that sounds like it is snatching gloom from the jaws of joy don't you believe it, tales of midnight sledging and his friend Sam's happiness formula in action ("a cheese sandwich now and Football Focus tomorrow morning?!") see to that.

Kitson's reverence for music is clear from both his stand-up and his play. In the former he doubts the cathartic abilities of dance music and exhalts the power of the indie artist, noting "if all my music met at a party it would get on rather well".

In Stories for the Wobbly Hearted his stage set is within the confines of five record players and he makes extended use of his favourite artists including The Divine Comedy. How apt. Like the props, Stories has a quaint charm and his tales of those who actively choose loneliness as an acceptable lifestyle pootle along nicely, though they do occasionally get caught up in Kitson's adjectival overflow.

Both his club set and his play are interchangeable in their themes and messages, though they stand alone as separate bodies of work. "Thanks for coming, I hope you enjoyed it," said Kitson shyly from the gloom at the end of his play. But I couldn't help remembering what he had said a few days before to a journalist, at the end of a newspaper interview: "I rather enjoyed our chat. I was erudite and charming, you were all right too." For the man who has mastered the art of one-way conversation, that phrase could have closed both of his shows.

To Sunday: The Stand (0131-558 7272); Traverse Theatre (0131-228 1404)

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