Gary Delaney: Purist, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Julian Hall
Thursday 19 August 2010 00:00

Sustaining a one-liner oriented show for an hour or more is a tricky business. Even the best practitioners, like Jimmy Carr and Steven Wright, have found it a stretch.

Prefacing your show, as Delaney does, by telling your audience that they are about to witness a string of one-liners somewhat undermines the confidence in the product on offer. As it turns out, though, the discomfort is quickly dispelled and the housekeeping etiquette is symptomatic of the geniality of the rotund man from Solihull.

Genial, yes, but he is paid to assault you with gags which he does right from his opener, the force of which I won't spoil for you here. One notable quotable early on runs: "I took four Es last night. That was a tough hand at Scrabble." There are plenty more where that came from including one of the first he wrote, we learn, that runs: "Technically, shoplifting from the Apple store only counts as scrumping."

Gentle asides and a few ruses are used to break up the show including a presentation of Delaney's Wikipedia vandalism. He's proud of amending the entry on the Benelux countries to suggest that they were once going to be named after something rude.

For one audience member the charms of Delaney run out a remarkable 51 minutes into the 55-minute show, as he treads some even naughtier material, but she is alone in her belated spurning of him, and some of the best gags on offer at the Fringe this year.

To 29 August (0131 556 6550)

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