Adam Hess @ Pleasance Courtyard

A breathless race through some of the Fringe’s strongest punchlines

Review by Eve Livingston | 08 Aug 2018
  • Adam Hess

Adam Hess erupts into action with a frenetic energy that never lets up throughout this hour of observation, anecdote and pithy one-liners.

Seahorse is structured around a narrative of moving back in with parents and reconnecting with your hometown and past acquaintances – but it is punctuated at unpredictable intervals with the reading of one-liners from a notebook, sometimes surreal moments of audience interaction, and seemingly random thoughts as they pop into Hess’ head. This combination sees punchlines thrown at the audience at a relentless rate, and it’s a testament to Hess’ writing that jokes that would form the basis of lengthy segments in other shows are tossed out like a stream of conscious thought, with barely any time for the audience to catch their breath in between.

Hess manages to swing between the absurd and the relatable with ease, recounting tales of playground bullying and hometown house parties. In other hands these could easily be predictable and safe but, as delivered in Hess' manic style, feel fresh and daring instead.

To call Seahorse high energy or fast-paced feels like something of an understatement, and Hess’ frenzied delivery won’t be for everyone. But those who tune into it for the hour will be richly rewarded with one of the highest punchline counts on the Fringe.

Adam Hess: Seahorse, Pleasance Courtyard (Upstairs), 1-27 Aug, 4.45pm, £6-10.50

Scroll on to read more of The Skinny's 2018 Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews; click here for a round-up of all the best reviews from this year's comedy and theatre programmes