Jeremy Lion's Happy Christmas, Pleasance, Hut

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The Independent Culture

Although the poster exclaims "Fun For All The Family!", the slightly smaller words below reading "Not suitable for children" give it away. Not to say the phrase "alcoholic children's entertainer". And Jeremy Lion, aka Justin Edwards, one third of last year's Perrier newcomer winners The Consultants, does not entertain alcoholic children.

Lion, an imposing, belching figure, might find it hard work performing a Christmas show in possibly the fringe's most prosaic venue ("an uneasy mix of portaloo and sauna"), but accompanied by hapless pianist Leslie, more usually seen in a Beach Boys tribute act called the Good Vibrators, he reveals much that remains hidden from the sight of children, on the way shifting many units of alcohol.

But this isn't a set of tired old paedo gags. Lion is a wonderful creation, a younger, more coherent and less repentant Count Arthur Strong. This year has provided few funnier and cleverer set-pieces than his unexpectedly surftastic medley of carols, or uniquely educational Frosty the Snowman routine, while a mix-up involving vacuum flasks seems to put the performer's insides at serious risk.

This is an absolute treat of a show, beautifully written and played, and worth getting out of bed for, no matter how bad your hangover.

(0131 556 6550) Until 25 August

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