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Edinburgh Festival review – Josh Widdicombe

Thursday, August 11 2011

Take a bow, Josh Widdicombe, who is shaping up to be the British Jerry Seinfeld


Josh Widdicombe

Josh Widdicombe is shaping up to be the British Seinfeld.

Some dimbos have an unjustifiable dislike of Jerry, when they should instead admit that his approach to material and timing are peerless and you could argue defined the form.

He made the much-traduced observational comedy model look simple before bad-taste ‘irony’ took over.

There’s a similar easy brilliance to Widdicombe’s current set.

He powers through his note-perfect material so steadily you almost want him to slow down so the audience can savour each bit properly. But he doesn’t – there’s too much to get through.

It doesn’t feel rushed, but there was so little padding here you wonder what he’s going to talk about next year. Widdicombe’s observational material is universal without feeling at all hack – a skill that will surely make him a lot of money fairly soon. The pair I saw asking for his autograph after the show in one of the Pleasance sheds will soon be able to boast that they saw him before he was famous.

Virtually any five minutes in his hour could be the highlight of most other comics’ sets. I’m struggling to find a weakness to report back to you about this but there isn’t much to choose from. He handles a he-he-larious audience member beautifully without it destabilising the momentum of the show.

I think the best I can do is that he sounds rubbish at bowling. His dissection of the way normally diffident Brits walk back to their seats after scoring a strike is spot-on but is, I suspect, sour grapes. This might sound over-exaltory but it really is a good show.

5 stars

Josh Widdicombe – If This Show Saves One Life is on at Pleasance Courtyard at 7.15pm.


Review written by Ben Clover

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