Alan Davies: Life is Pain

Review by Iain Gorman | 13 Aug 2012

Returning to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time as a stand-up in 11 years, Alan Davies is greeted to a rapturous applause from the sold out crowd upon taking the stage. He possesses a meandering, chatty style as he opens with some entertaining audience banter before diving into well observed material about the Olympics, family life and the end of the world.

He has a great energy and stage presence, almost the antithesis of his persona on QI. Here he has the opportunity to spread his comedic wings and when he takes flight he's a bit of a joy to behold. His jokes are wrapped up in entertaining anecdotes, with great call-backs to earlier lines and a fantastic turn of phrase.

A piece about translating a baby's cries is met with huge laughs. A lot of what he does is grounded in his alternative comedy beginnings with absurdist observational jokes expertly delivered with vigour. He draws the audience in with skilfully crafted characters and gleefully told stories. Davies has made an effortless return to stand-up comedy, clearly enjoying every moment on stage. If Life is Pain, then this was an absolute pleasure.


Alan Davies: Life is Pain, EICC, until 14 August, 19:40, £20.00/£18.00