Game of Loners @ The Beehive

Review by Ben Venables | 06 Aug 2014

Don't be put off by the title; stare long enough and it's still just bodged wordplay. Save time by going to the show and accept it has nothing to do with Game of Thrones. On Friday, if there was not a crowd it was certainly a crowded room. With wit, warmth and a (misplaced) self-deprecation, the three performers delivered tales of such awkwardness, Peep Show's Mark Corrigan could empathise.

Each spend oodles of time cataloguing their perceived physical defects. Admittedly, for Robin Grainger this tactic flourishes. His slight frame and birdie innocence recall the infant heron gulls that have divebombed Edinburgh gardens these last few weeks. It's deceptive, though: look closely, and those may not be shoulder pads in his jacket but the erect posture of a confident man who commands the stage with unusual courtesy and respect to the audience: this bird has flown. 

For Gareth Waugh, his Wham levels of stubble, modest beefcake presence and smart jacket question the autobiographical humour that casts him as a shabby, baby-faced sexual failure. But, when he moves in tiny steps towards observation – if only about Edinburgh Zoo or just the point of view of his estranged cat – the laughs ring out across the Grassmarket.

Looking like Rubeus Hagrid at age 20, Gareth Mutch can also capitalise on his features but his material strengthens with other voices too – his father's disappointment at his liking for theatre class. 

They could increase their range, but it's worth your time. They will not be fledgling long. 

Game of Loners @ The Beehive, 1-24 Aug, 5.25 pm, free