Ben Verth: Not With that Attitude
An increasingly prominent presence on the Scottish comedy circuit, Ben Verth kicks off his solo Fringe debut by complying with a tedious series of high-five requests from the front row. This is an inauspicious introduction, but as the self-deprecating comic settles into the obligatory musing on his appearance, it becomes clear that he is a performer who likes to take time to read a room. The more he gains the audience's trust, the funnier he gets.
Having formerly worked as a tour guide of Edinburgh's haunted Old Town, Verth's observations on the city and venue are illuminating even to locals, while his dissection of the psychic-themed gossip mag 'It's Fate' finds new life in a tired comedic approach.
By the time the show reaches its conclusion, a clever interactive set piece, our hero has spent much of the hour battling with problem audience members. Armed only with acerbic wit and a string of winningly unenthusiastic catchphrases, he ensures that his first show of the Festival is a hard-won, free-wheeling success.
Ben Verth: Not With that Attitude, The Banshee Labyrinth, 6-27 Aug (not Thursdays), free. Part of the PBH Free Fringe