Adam Riches @ Pleasance Dome
Less inane than insane, Adam Riches will have you on the edge of your seat – or pull you out of it
Choose a front row seat at your peril. Adam Riches takes no prisoners in his hour of character comedy, but he does take sniper students, stuntmen and spa customers from the audience and subjects them, with a ferocious grin, to his absurd whims. With the slightest costume changes he rattles through Gerard Butler, the musical hobo known as The Drifter, a soft-spoken BBC Four-type TV presenter, and that guy we’ve all dated who just wants to listen. Of them, Butler is the weakest, although only just, depending as it does on decent knowledge of the good Scot’s acting resume. It’s as we move onto his original creations that the true madness begins.
His characters are wonderfully realised and ridiculous, but not rigid, and though his ‘volunteers’ often struggle to keep up, it’s the shifting and twisting rapport he develops with them that’s the real engine of the show. There are no boundaries uncrossed here, and it’s not for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached, particularly as Riches races to the pungent conclusion. In more than a couple of cases, the punchline to a sketch pales in comparison to the bared-teeth bullying of his victim that went before. Luckily, they’re clearly having just as much fun as he is – and so does the audience.