Jeff Green From A-Z, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh

Jeff Green still presses all the right buttons, mainly in the bedroom
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The Independent Culture

"Did you enjoy the summer? It was on a Thursday this year." Straight away, Green unites the audience on something that has touched all their lives recently, the truly diabolical Edinburgh weather. The sense that we are all laughing together is something that stays all the way through his act. Even though Green covers familiar territory, principally the battle of the sexes, in a traditional club comic manner, I defy anyone not to recognise themselves somewhere here.

"Did you enjoy the summer? It was on a Thursday this year." Straight away, Green unites the audience on something that has touched all their lives recently, the truly diabolical Edinburgh weather. The sense that we are all laughing together is something that stays all the way through his act. Even though Green covers familiar territory, principally the battle of the sexes, in a traditional club comic manner, I defy anyone not to recognise themselves somewhere here.

Still cherub-faced but perhaps not as cheeky as he once was, Green provides an hour of seamless entertainment punctuated by bite-size, accurate, observations as carefully structured as the novelty books this show is based on, The A-Z of Living Together and the A-Z of Being Single.

Normally, I find myself irritated rather than amused by men and women who draw up battle lines between them; they point out their clichéd differences until the point where you wonder how anyone gets together let alone stays together. But there can be no denying certain gender peculiarities, as Green shows. He picks on examples that have universal charm; that men tend to leave their loose change by the bedside and women often cherry pick the pound coins from that change; that the largely female penchant for cushions on a bed means making the bed is akin to building a wall.

It's not that Green doesn't venture out of the bedroom but his observations are rooted in what is going on in the male and female brain whether holidaying abroad or camping at Glastonbury. There are some lovely one-liners out of category. A routine of non-specific gender was the idea of panic being an effective response to dangerous situations, again a real treat.

Of course the familiarity that gives rise to the recognition in Jeff Green's act is potentially double-edged. For example, shopping for lingerie is a hackneyed topic to choose to exploit but Green does it swiftly, focusing on the embarrassment factor, judging well the mileage he can get from it.

You will have heard some of this act before, either from the man himself or from a long line of others but you won't be unhappy to hear it again. Comparison with Seinfeld may seem grand but the influence is clear.

It's nice to see a big name from the comedy hall of fame still cutting it at the Festival, in sharp contrast with Jo Brand's return last year. Like Brand, he is doing the full run of the Festival - something I know he feels strongly about, believing that those who just pop in for a run of a week or less aren't really getting into the spirit of things. Green's show this year is an antidote to the plethora of clever-clever theme comedy shows, getting back-to-basics in an old school style.

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