Alex Edelman @ Pleasance Courtyard

Sharp writing, relatable stories and wider social points – Alex Edelman makes a triumphant return to the Fringe

Review by Polly Glynn | 06 Aug 2018
  • Alex Edelman

Oh boy, does this guy not recognise when he’s out of his depth; that is, at a white-nationalist ("they don’t like being called Nazis") meet-up. He's not out of his depth at the Pleasance Cabaret Bar.

Edelman’s wild-eyed delivery sets the show up for this to be a ‘wacky’ hour of ‘stupid jokes’, which he professes is his kind of comedy. But despite there being a few of these, this is primarily an hour of glorious storytelling which is incredibly relevant, particularly to the anti-semitism row plaguing politics at present.

Interwoven within the core storyline, Edelman regales with tales of rubbing shoulders at the Baftas and his brother’s unlikely sporting achievements. Then, with the lightest of touches, he drops in several examples of what it means to be brave – competing in Olympic skeleton, asking for a fee at the Baftas, standing up to an old friend. The writing is fantastic: sharp, relatable and very funny.

Both in content and delivery, it’s bound to draw comparisons to Nish Kumar’s defiant 2016 hour about prejudice after the Brexit vote. It attacks bigger issues whilst not patronising or shouting from a pedestal. Edelman recounts being asked by fellow comic Bridget Christie if his show is about important issues right now, as comedians have a responsibility to educate people and tackle wrongs. It’s exactly this that makes Edelman’s show the bravest feat of all.

Alex Edelman: Just For Us, Pleasance Courtyard (Cabaret Bar), until 26 Aug, 8pm, £6-14

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