Review: Aaaaaaaargh! It’s the Best of Fringe Comedy from the UK

With Fringe’s dizzying array of comedy offerings, the choice of which emerging comedian to lend our ears and hearts to is almost impossible. Aaaaaaaargh! therefore provides a much-needed opportunity to dip one’s toe in the proverbial stand-up waters.

Three different acts per night reach out their arms to audiences – ‘pick me! Come to my official show!’ – as well as the host, Nik Coppin, who will also reappear elsewhere over the next month.

Tonight’s gaggle of comedians (and yes, that is the proper collective noun) boasted an angry, self-deprecating Cornishman who took fashion tips from the audience, an energetic former teacher whose anecdotes pranced about the crowd like the high school girls in his dance class, and a slightly more earnest comedian who could have masqueraded as a makeshift Wolverine in Deadpool.

These brief but great shows were tainted, however, by Coppin’s unfortunate inability to sustain the room’s energy between comedians. Try as he might, and did, Coppin’s humour could not shrug off a sliver of desperation, and that notorious whiff of offense.

Despite its fallbacks, Aaaaaaaargh! is a highly useful tool for Fringe-goers unnerved by the endless parade of possibilities. As for me, I’ll be attending Hugh Jackman lookalike Gordon Southern’s show Adelaide Hills Cop II, riding the waves of joy he delivered as third comedian tonight.

Come to the Bunka, wade through the shallows and pluck your own specks of gold from amongst the stones.

By J. M. Miller

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