The Library’s Edinburgh Comedy Preview was a rare chance to see comedy in the making, with mistakes included and before the final polish.
Alexander Fox’s show, playing the character of ‘the world’s most famous drummer’ was no exception to this. The show, borrowing shamelessly from both The Graduate and Whiplash, tells the story of Fox’s affair with his drum teacher, back in music college. It is set in a recording studio, around a live drum kit (ok, this time it wasn’t - Fox tells us with glee that he only realised just before leaving for
The show builds upon his 2017 run of Ringo, and the longevity of the character really adds to its believability. Fox truly is a master story teller. Although his eyes were pretty much glued to the script all evening (this was the first time he’d read it to an audience), his flair as a performer meant the audience were kept in the palm of his hand throughout (pretty good going for an hour-long show.) He sporadically scribbled bits out when he didn’t get enough of a laugh for a particular joke.
His use of the script wasn’t his only hindrance, it was without his drum kit (box instead), it was without any of the twenty characters voices recorded (hence the second comedian on heroically reading all of them out, adding much to the show). Fox’s jokes aren’t cheap - he often uses intelligent word play and double meanings. He is a captivating performer, with a huge amount of potential. The finished piece will be brilliant.
Daniel Nils Roberts' The History of the World in an Hour was something else completely. So casually finished I can easily imagine the thing on Live at the Apollo, his performance had all of the polish that Fox’s lacked. In fact, after Fox’s it felt slightly impersonal. However, this is not to say I didn’t wholeheartedly enjoy it. I love a bit of educational comedy, especially one with a PowerPoint. Though it's a completely absurdist show, Roberts is evidently a highly informed individual.
I was slightly baffled with his beef about
I look forward to reading the reviews of both at the Edinburgh Fringe.